Following successful trials on the test bench and in the field, Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems approved its Series 1600 and Series 4000 generator sets for use with EN15940 synthetic diesel fuels. This includes gas-to-liquid (GTL) and  coal-to-liquid (CTL) as well as biomass-to-liquid (BTL), hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), and power-to-liquid fuels. 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," said Tobias Ostermaier, president of 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."  

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 by up to 80%, nitrogen oxide emissions by an average of 8%, and (depending on the manufacturing process and feedstock) CO2 emissions by up to 90% 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. 

The tests confirmed that mtu engines perform the same 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.