Using rapeseed residues to run rail freight

The aim of the project is to test the substitution of non-road diesel (NRD) by Agrofuel Oleo100, a fuel derived from French rapeseed residues on Europorte freight locomotives GETLINK group. This would reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the routes concerned by around 60%. This test is carried out without modification of existing locomotives.

Main project's drivers for reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

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Energy and resource efficiency

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Energy Decarbonisation

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Energy efficiency improvements

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Improving efficiency in non-energy resources

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Emissions absorption

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Financing low-carbon producers or disinvestment from carbon assets

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Reduction of other greenhouse gases emission

Project objectives

The project must confirm the technical feasibility of replacing Non-Road Diesel (NRD) with biofuel.

The NRD consumed for locomotive traction represents the first item of the GETLINK group GHG inventory (17010 tonnes CO2 in 2020). The reduction of these emissions related to traction fuel is a key issue for the Group. The replacement of NRD with agrofuels in current locomotives reduces these emissions by at least 60%.

 

This project aims in particular to:

  • Confirm the feasibility of using Oleo100 biofuel on Euro4000 locomotives during a full-scale test over a period of 3 months (and not on the test bench because the group does not have the operational flexibility to be able to demobilize one of its locomotives)
  • Confirm the operational impacts (positioning of fuel tanks and supply, identification of possible operational impacts, adjustment of driving and maintenance procedures...).

 

The fuel used is developed from 100% French rapeseed by SAIPOL, subsidiary of the AVRIL group. The product used is a co-product resulting from the transformation of rapeseed into edible oil and protein-rich oil serving as a cake for the nutrition of livestock.

Link to biofuel

 

Emission scope(s)

on which the project has a significant impact

  • Emission scopes
  • Description and quantification of associated GHG emissions
  • Clarification on the calculation

Scope 1

Direct emissions generated by the company's activity.

Scope 2

Indirect emissions associated with the company's electricity and heat consumption.

Scope 3

Emissions induced (upstream or downstream) by the company's activities, products and/or services in its value chain.

Emission Removal

Carbon sinks creation, (BECCS, CCU/S, …)

Avoided Emissions

Emissions avoided by the activities, products and/or services in charge of the project, or by the financing of emission reduction projects.

Scope 1 - Reduction of emissions from the combustion of biofuel in locomotives   

  • Scope 1 before-project (project-wide) = 126 tCO2
    • 50 000 litres
    • EF NRD : 2.52 kgCO2/l

    Scope 1 after-project = 55 tCO2

    • 50 000 litres
    • EF Oleo 100 : 1.106 kgCO2/l

     

    71 tCO2 reduction(for the 3 months of the trial)

 

Scope 3 - Reduction of upstream emissions of biofuel in locomotives.

  • Scope 3 before-project (project-wide) = 33 tCO2

    • 50 000 litres
    • EF GNR : 0.66 kgCO2/l

    Scope 3 after-project = 0 t

    • 50 000 litres
    • EF Oleo 100 : 0 kgCO2/l

     

    33 tCO2 reduction(for the 3 months of the trial)

By totaling the gain in Scope 1 and Scope 3, the project saves 104 tons of CO2 over 3 months.

The Oleo100 emission factor (EF) of 1.106kgCO2/l is the result of a durability calculation as part of the Saipol certification scheme audited by Bureau Veritas.

It should be noted that according to the carbon accounting rules of the GETLINK group (based on public benchmarks and in particular the ADEME database), emissions related to the combustion of Oleo100 (like all biofuels) will be counted as zero. Nevertheless, the overall gain (scope Scopes 1 and 3) will remain the same as in the approach adopted in this sheet. 

Key points

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Invested amount

No hardware investment cost.
Costs are operating costs related to the purchase and supply of the biofuel

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Starting date of the project

2021

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Project localisation

France

Project maturity level

Prototype laboratory test (TRL 7)

Real life testing (TRL 7-8)

Pre-commercial prototype (TRL 9)

Small-scale implementation

Medium to large scale implementation

Economic profitability of the project (ROI)

Short term (0-3years)

Middle term (4-10 years)

Long term (> 10 years)

Illustrations of the project

The biofuel used improves air quality by significantly reducing emissions of fine and ultrafine particles.

The rapeseed used is part of a trajectory of progress, particularly on its environmental balance with a real policy of defense of biodiversity (cultural rotation, pollinating activity, non-irrigated culture…). The production of traction energy from food residues is also a successful example of a circular economy contributing to national energy independence. 

In this sense, the project contributes to the following SDGs:

  • SDG 3 Good Health and well-being
  • SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 Climate Action

This test project aims to be able to expand the use of Oleo100 to about 1.1 million liters per year by 2023, which will eventually represent a reduction of 2340 tons of CO2 per year.

Partnerships with EUROPORTE, AVRIL/SAIPOL and STADLER have been initiated through this project.

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Contact the company carrying the project :

Romain.dufour@getlinkgroup.com