ANTRIM and Newtownabbey Borough Council is piloting a new fuel in a range of vehicles that will help reduce the carbon emissions by as much as 90%.
Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) is a low-carbon fuel and is derived from used cooking oils, residue animal fats from food processing, and non-food grade crops.
The council says that use of HVO will not only reduce carbon emissions but will also prevent nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 30% and further improve air quality by cutting air pollutants from council vehicles by over 80%.
The pilot, in conjunction with Nicholl Fuel Oils Ltd, will last for three months and during this time, the council will assess the effectiveness of the fuel in reducing carbon emissions.
If it is successful, then consideration will be given to expanding the use of the HVO fuel to more vehicles in the council’s fleet.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb welcomed the pilot as part of the Council’s Climate Change Action Plan and Fleet Management Strategy.
“This is one of the first trials of its kind in Northern Ireland and further evidence of the Council taking positive practical steps to reduce its impact on the environment.” he said.
The fuel can be a direct replacement for diesel and is approximately 15% more expensive.
A previous report before council said that the additional cost could be offset by a potential reduction in running costs, as the use of HVO does not produce the same residues in the engine and therefore burns cleaner.
No adjustments are required to engines to facilitate the use of the fuel. .