Clean Air Power celebrates as company awarded contract to provide supermarket giant with 50 more dual-fuel truck retrofits

Publication: Business Green
By James Murray

Diesel and gas are unlikely to ever be described as genuinely "green" fuels, but for a UK technology firm and one of the country's largest retailers they are delivering significant reductions in both carbon emissions and air pollution.

It emerged this week that supermarket giant Sainsbury's has placed the latest in a series of orders with Clean Air Power Limited, which will see the Leyland-based haulage technology specialist fit its Genesis-EDGE Dual-Fuel to 50 Sainsbury's trucks. The new trucks will join 49 Clean Air Power Genesis-EDGE trucks and eight methane diesel installations that the company has already delivered to Sainsbury's distribution fleet, following orders in 2012 and 2013.

The expanded fleet is to operate out of the retailer's Emerald Park Distribution Centre in Bristol, where a dedicated gas refuelling station will allow the trucks to serve much of Wales and the South West. Speaking following last year's initial order of the Genesis-EDGE system Nick Davies, Sainsbury's head of transport operations, said the new technology had been successfully trialled and would now play a major role in helping the company meet its "very stretching target for carbon reduction in our transport fleet". "Our early adoption of this technology is helping to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and future proof our fuel supply, which are both fundamental to the long-term sustainability of our business," he added.

For the uninitiated, a technology that combines gas and diesel fuels may not sound like it promises much in the way of carbon savings, but John Pettitt, chief executive of Clean Air Power, reveals how displacing pure diesel engines with a dual-fuel approach can deliver carbon savings of at least 10 per cent. "We inject a measured amount of gas into the cylinder and this gas goes into the air stream, then our engine control unit tells the diesel injector to release a smaller amount of diesel - all opf this is done in four milliseconds," he explains. "The total amount of energy released is the same, but it has come from a blend of natural gas and diesel... about 60 per cent of the diesel is replaced by gas."

The net result is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of around a tenth for a haulage sector that finds emissions reductions notoriously difficult to come by. "If you are company such as Sainsbury's with a very green agenda and you have diesel trucks you don't have many options available currently," Pettitt argues. "You can do some great things with aerodynamics and we are seeing people make improvements in that area, but ultimately you have to look at a way of burning less diesel. Our technology delivers a 10 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions - that is a material saving... You are cutting emissions by 17 to 20 tonnes a year, depending on the mileage."

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