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5th Jul, 2022

Digger tailpipe test as HS2 tries to cut size of its carbon footprint

RESULTS from a trial carried out to test the potential air quality benefits of alternative fuels looks set to help HS2’s push to cut the use of diesel and introduce low-carbon solutions on construction sites.

The trial, part of HS2’s Innovation programme, was carried out in partnership with Imperial College London and Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV) at an HS2 construction site near Coventry in April 2021.

It measured tail-pipe emissions to determine the potential emission benefits of using alternative fuels when compared to red diesel.

The ‘real-world’ emission measurements tests were carried out on two 20-tonne excavators.

The fuels tested included standard red diesel (EN590) to provide a baseline for comparative purposes, red diesel with F18 fuel additive and two biofuels – hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) and Enhanced HVO.

While the results showed limited air quality benefits when compared to red diesel, the trial demonstrated the potential carbon reduction opportunities through the sustainable sourcing of alternative fuels.

Both machines had exhaust gas after-treatment technology installed to reduce nitrogen dioxide and particle emissions.

As such the study also recognises that older machines with no after-treatment technology may have a greater potential for reducing emissions through the use of alternative fuels.

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