Plant power for the future

Plant power for the future

Diesel locomotives are not particularly climate-friendly, that much is known. But what to do with hundreds of vehicles that are still intact? Especially since alternative drive technologies such as fuel cells do not currently provide enough power for rail freight transport. Deutsche Bahn has dealt intensively with this problem as part of its climate targets, because it wants to be climate-neutral by 2040 - ten years earlier than the EU's European Green Deal calls for. One of DB Cargo's focuses here is on testing alternative fuels.

Fett for Future DB Cargo

From the barrel into the tank

One of these biofuels is HVO, which stands for Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil. This is fuel made from biological plant and waste residues - for example, from old frying fat. This is particularly sustainable because no additional cultivation areas have to be used for it and only the amount of CO2 that was previously removed from the atmosphere during the growth of the plants is released during combustion. The result is a fossil-free, high-quality biofuel whose structure is very similar to that of diesel and is therefore intended to replace it. Thus, 90 percent less CO2 is produced compared to standard diesel.

Climate-neutral supply chains possible

As Europe's largest freight rail freight company, DB Cargo already performs around 95 percent of its journeys electrically. Diesel locomotives have to be used for the remaining train services. For these, however, HVO now offers an almost completely CO2-free solution. For DB Cargo's customers, this means that climate-neutral supply chains are possible throughout. "With alternative fuels and the existing locomotive fleet, we can easily run goods trains for our customers in a completely CO2-neutral manner, " says Dr Sigrid Nikutta, DB Board Member for Freight Transport. "At the same time, we are investing in new technologies and will convert the diesel locomotives to hybrid technology. Many customers have already indicated that they are waiting for just that: Sustainability - and we are literally creating it down to the last metre of the supply chain!"