PRESS RELEASE Power Generation

Milestone towards Net Zero: mtu gensets from Rolls-Royce approved for sustainable HVO fuel

Posted on May 11, 2022

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  • Approval of mtu Series 1600 and Series 4000 gensets for EN15940 fuels, including HVO
  • Up to 90% well-to-wheel CO2 savings possible through operation with HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil)
  • Full performance without engine or system modifications

Rolls-Royce has taken a significant step towards meeting its net zero goals, set out last year, with the approval of its mtu Series 4000 and Series 1600 diesel engines for use with sustainable fuels in power generation applications.

Following successful trials on the test bench and in the field, Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems has approved its Series 1600 and Series 4000 generator sets for use with EN15940 synthetic diesel fuels. In addition to GtL (Gas to Liquid) and CtL (Coal to Liquid), these fuels include also the sustainable fuels BtL (Biomass to Liquid), HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) and PtL (Power to Liquid) such as e-diesel. They can all replace conventional diesel fuel, which is made from fossil petroleum. "There is already a lot of interest in HVO in particular from many customers in the energy industry and data center business who want to improve their carbon footprint," explained Tobias Ostermaier, President Stationary Power Solutions at Rolls-Royce Power Systems. "The results from pilot customers show a significant reduction in greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions by using HVO instead of fossil diesel in their gensets without  significant reductions in power output."

HVO use significantly reduces CO2, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions

Waste vegetable and animal fats and used cooking oils can be used as base materials for HVO, which are converted into hydrocarbons by means of a catalytic reaction with the addition of hydrogen. Through this process, the fats and vegetable oils are adapted in their properties to diesel fuel and can supplement it as an admixture or replace it completely. The advantages of HVO are clean combustion with a reduction in particulate emissions of up to 80 percent, nitrogen oxide emissions by an average of eight percent and (depending on the manufacturing process and feedstock) CO2 emissions by up to 90 percent compared to fossil diesel. Because HVO fuel is produced from renewable raw materials, its production, transport, and combustion generate only about as many greenhouse gases as were absorbed by the plants during the growth of the biomass.

Convincing performance without engine and system modifications

The tests confirmed that mtu engines perform equally excellent when using HVO (as compared to diesel) in terms of maximum power, load acceptance and fuel consumption. HVO is a drop-in fuel, which means that there are no adaptions needed to the diesel plant infrastructure, hardware or software for its use. In addition, the storage stability of this synthetic fuel is significantly better than that of biodiesel, making it even more attractive to emergency power system operators.

Target: 35% greenhouse gas savings by 2030 with new fuels and mtu technologies

As part of its sustainability program, Rolls-Royce announced in the middle 2021 that it would realign its product portfolio so that by 2030, new fuels and mtu technologies can save 35 percent greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2019 levels. The company is now already successfully operating an mtu fuel cell system, has established a clear roadmap for the introduction of hydrogen engines, and is now progressively releasing further engines in more applications to run on sustainable fuels.

For detailed testing results for mtu Series 4000 using HVO, please see our white paper:   HVO Fuel proven to be effective for Diesel Generator Sets (mtu-solutions.com)

Learn more about our sustainable solutions on our website:
Sustainable power that matters (mtu-solutions.com)

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc

  1. Rolls-Royce pioneers the power that matters to connect, power and protect society. We have pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in our operations by 2030 (excluding product testing) and joined the UN Race to Zero campaign in 2020, affirming our ambition to play a fundamental role in enabling the sectors in which we operate achieve net zero carbon by 2050.
  2. Rolls-Royce Power Systems is headquartered in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany and employs around 9,000 people. The product portfolio includes mtu-brand high-speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, power generation, heavy land, rail and defence vehicles and for the oil and gas industry as well as diesel and gas systems and battery containers for mission critical, standby and continuous power, combined generation of heat and power, and microgrids and is intensively engaged in the development of climate-neutral solutions.
  3. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces and navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.
  4. Annual underlying revenue was £10.95 billion in 2021, underlying operating profit was £414m and we invested £1.18 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.
  5. Rolls-Royce Holdings plc is a publicly traded company (LSE:RR., ADR: RYCEY, LEI: 213800EC7997ZBLZJH69).

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