Cummins approves use of unblended renewable diesel

By Becky Schultz07 September 2023

Cummins Inc. has approved its high-horsepower diesel engines across all ratings for use with unblended paraffinic fuels (EN15940), often referred to as renewable diesel, including hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO).

The approval applies to all high-horsepower (19L-95L, V903, ACE) engines for all applications in use across a variety of industries, such as mining, marine, rail, defense and oil & gas.

Cummins high-horsepower industrial engines currently in the field can now be fueled with 100% renewable diesel. (Photo: Cummins)

All of the company’s industrial engines currently in the field can now be fueled with 100% renewable diesel, or any blend of renewable and traditional diesel, with no engine modifications required.

Any renewable diesel used must meet the EN15940 standard, as defined by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).

“As we work alongside our customers toward a carbon neutral future, bridge solutions like alternative fuels are critical in decarbonizing existing equipment,” said Gary Johansen, vice president, Power Systems Engineering.

“Approving unblended renewable diesel use in all high horsepower engines is one more step on our path of continued innovation to help our industrial customers reduce their carbon footprints while upholding performance and reliability standards.”

Leading up to the announcement, technical evaluations of high-horsepower engines utilizing renewable diesel included emissions cycle, performance, transient, fuel consumption testing as well as field testing. The trials showed that exhaust emissions output continued to be comparable to engines operating on conventional diesel fuel and within established EPA targets with no changes to engine hardware and software, Cummins noted.

The trials also showed that renewable diesel can serve as a drop-in replacement for conventional diesel, plus can:

  • reduce well-to-work greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions up to 90%;
  • cut tailpipe emissions of particulate matter and smoke up to 50%;
  • experience only ~1% to 2% power loss;
  • provide no impact to service/maintenance intervals;
  • and be stored for longer duration.

Cummins high-horsepower engine platforms now approved for unblended HVO include the QSK19, K19, QSK23, QST30, QSK38, K38, QSK45, QSK50, K50, QSK60, QSK78, QSK95, V903 and ACE for all industrial segments. Operators should contact their local Cummins distributor for more information and the most recent fluids manual.

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