Alternative fuels for mining applications are on the horizon thanks to Sandvik and Caterpillar. The new developments are set to replace diesel and hydrogen-powered haul trains with hydrogen treated vegetable oil.
The HVO will be tested in C series Cat engines globally. Caterpillars global partner Finning will help to manage the project across South America, Canada and the United Kingdom.
The new developments will also look to reduce carbon emissions by up to 90%. This is because HVO is a renewable synthetic diesel and the companies found it to be interchangeable with diesel.
“The HVO we use is only made from renewable feedstocks certified by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC). Its performance is similar to regular diesel, so your power output and uptime are not compromised,” Sandvik stated.
It is also said the alternative fuels have a better shelf life thanks to the use of hydrogen in the fuel. It is also very easy to switch to.
“Since no iron or system changes are required, it can be considered a drop-in replacement for diesel,” Sandvik stated.
Caterpillar, Chevron USA, Progress Rail and BNSF Railway Company have since signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining their collaboration to develop hydrogen-powered line-haul and other rail services.
The MOU will begin with the Progress Rail design, followed by building a prototype hydrogen fuel cell train. Second to this Chevron develop a fuelling concept and infrastructure to support the vehicle. BNSF, which operates one of the largest rail networks in North America, will facilitate the testing of the end product.
“Caterpillar has made great strides in moving our advanced power technology forward. Our Progress Rail team will leverage that knowledge and experience toward a hydrogen fuel cell locomotive. Working with Chevron and BNSF will allow us to advance hydrogen technology across the industry,” Caterpillar President Joe Creed said.