Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions With Renewable Diesel

Carrie Muehling

Renewable Energy Group (REG) is helping a North Carolina public utility to fuel part of its fleet with renewable diesel.

Thirty-four diesel vehicles in the Charlotte Water fleet began running on REG renewable diesel in May. In the first three months, they reduced greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 75 tons, which is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of an average passenger vehicle that has driven over 183,000 miles. Over the course of a year, that would calculate to 300 tons, or the equivalent of over 732,000 miles driven.

“As a public utility, we believe we have an obligation to protect the environment,” said Kathy Gibson, Fleet Manager, Charlotte Water. “Fueling diesel vehicles with 100 percent renewable diesel instead of petroleum diesel is a way to promote sustainability in the communities we serve, and the results have been very encouraging.”

The renewable diesel-fueled vehicles have also performed well, and no equipment modifications were needed for them to run on the renewable fuel.

Renewable diesel is an alternative to traditional diesel fuel that is made from renewable resources and helps users lower greenhouse gas and other emissions. Compared with ultra-low sulfur diesel, renewable diesel reduces particulate matter by nearly 40 percent, carbon monoxide by 25 percent, nitrogen oxides by 15 percent and total hydrocarbons by over 10 percent.

After six months, Charlotte Water’s pilot project will be evaluated to decide whether to continue or even expand the fleet’s use of renewable diesel.

REG, renewable diesel, Renewable Energy