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June 15, 2021   |  

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Los Angeles terminal operator transitions container handling equipment to renewable diesel fuel


Fenix Marine Services, a container terminal at the Port of Los Angeles that handles about 2m teu a year, has transitioned its entire fleet of more than 300 pieces of container-handling equipment, as well as some support vehicles, from fossil-based diesel fuel to renewable diesel fuel, a blend made 80% of recycled organic oils and animal fats, and 20% of biomass.

Using this blend, known as RD80, Fenix has been able to immediately and significantly reduce its harmful emissions while also minimizing its costs and the time required for such a transformation.

“Renewable diesel is an advanced biofuel, meaning it [provides] greater than 50% lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions-reduction relative to petroleum-derived diesel,” says Robert McCormick, senior research fellow for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Further, “As long as we grow soybeans and produce livestock, the waste derived after these products have been processed into food can be refined into a clean, low-carbon fuel,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

Having the same chemical structure as petroleum diesel, renewable diesel can simply replace conventional diesel in vehicles and machinery that are designed for that fuel. The change does not require equipment modifications or cause performance issues, according to Schaeffer.


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