Volkswagen diesel engines now approved for use with paraffinic fuels; up to 95% savings in CO2 emissions

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line 2.0 TDI

Volkswagen hasn’t completely foregone diesel, it has shown, with its announcement that its latest generation of four-cylinder diesel engines which it has approved for use with paraffinic fuels. These are newly developed diesel fuels which contain bio components that enable significant savings in CO2 emissions, between 70% and 95% compared with conventional diesel, it said.

All Volkswagen models with four-cylinder diesel engines delivered from the end of June this year received approval for operation with paraffinic diesel fuels in compliance with the European standard EN 15940, said the automaker.

“Through the use of environmentally friendly fuels in the approved Volkswagen models, we are making it possible for customers throughout Europe to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions as soon as the fuel is locally available,” said Volkswagen head of petrol and diesel fuels Thomas Garbe. The use of these paraffinic diesel fuels is a sensible option, particularly for companies with a mixed fleet also comprised of electrified vehicles, Garbe added.

Volkswagen diesel engines now approved for use with paraffinic fuels; up to 95% savings in CO2 emissions

Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI engine

There are several types of paraffinic diesel fuels; one such type is produced from biological residual and waste materials such as HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil), which is converted into hydrocarbons through reacting with hydrogen, and can be added to diesel in any quantity, or used entirely on their own as a fuel, said Volkswagen.

Vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil can also be used in the production of HVO, though its maximum environmental benefit can only be obtained through the use of biofuel residual and waste materials such as used cooking oil, sawdust and others. Biofuels using HVO are already on the market, says Volkswagen, and their share in the energy market could increase to 20 to 30% for road transport in Europe within the next 10 years, it said.

In the future, there will also be e-fuels, otherwise known as power-to-liquid (PtL), and will be produced from regenerative sources with the use of CO2 and electricity. Also known by X-to-liquid (XtL), GtL and PtL acronyms, these begin with the initial production of a synthesis gas from different raw materials, which is then converted to standard-compliant diesel through the Fischer-Tropsch process. Excess green energy can be used in this production process, says Volkswagen.

The latest diesel engine development is Volkswagen’s additional effort towards reducing CO2 emissions for becoming climate-neutral by 2050, in addition to the industry-wide push for electrification. The German manufacturer’s goal for 2030 is to reduce per-vehicle emissions in Europe by 40% compared to its figure in 2018.

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