Tests carried out by the Grampet Group on three locomotives in Romania involve the use of a rather innovative product. SulNOxEco™ Fuel Conditioner, developed by British company SulNOx, has the potential to revolutionize the combustion profile of fossil fuels and significantly reduce their emissions. Railway Supply magazine writes about this with reference to RailFreigth.

Fuel additives
Picture: Andre Sudholt. Pixabay

Grampet Group uses about 10,000 tons of diesel fuel annually. To cut that number down, let’s say that just three locomotives testing the SulNOx fuel additive use about 40,000 liters of fuel per month to run. It is clear that this widespread use of fossil fuels results in huge CO2 emissions. However, there is scope for reducing them without switching to more sustainable fuels.

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Fuel additives used in internal combustion engines such as those used in diesel locomotives are not a revolutionary innovation. They have been around for years, and what they simply do is increase the ability of the fuel to burn as efficiently as possible and release maximum energy to propel the vehicle. But the use of fuel additives made from natural and biodegradable ingredients that “make fuel cleaner and more efficient” results in fewer emissions.

Naturally, the ultimate goal of the transport and rail sector is complete decarbonisation. Running on green electricity or hydrogen is an integral part of the sustainability strategy of many railway companies. However, realistically speaking, this could be a long-term goal. Whether it’s infrastructure mismatches when it comes to electrification, or the huge costs of buying new rolling stock or upgrading old ones, the rail industry isn’t quite ready for a fully sustainable fuel just yet.

As a result, a solution that could minimize the emissions of heavily used fossil fuels could at least be the starting point in the decarbonization race. This means that until infrastructure and rolling stock achieve the long-term goal of decarbonization, there is still a need to take action, for example, to minimize the emissions of existing rolling stock running on diesel or other fossil fuels.

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