Cummins approves use of renewable diesel in industrial engines

By Cummins Inc. | August 31, 2023

Cummins Inc. announced on Aug. 25 approval of their entire line of diesel high horsepower engines across all ratings for use with unblended paraffinic fuels (EN15940), often referred to as renewable diesel, including hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). Utilizing renewable diesels like HVO are shown to reduce net greenhouse gas (GHG) emission by up to 90 percent compared to conventional diesel, dependent on the exact feedstock and fuel pathway. 

This approval applies to all high-horsepower (19L-95L, V903, ACE) engines for all applications in use across a variety of industries, such as mining, marine, rail, defense and oil & gas. All industrial engines currently in the field can be fueled with 100 percent renewable diesel, or any blend of renewable and traditional diesel, with no engine modifications required. Any renewable diesel used must meet the EN15940 standard, as defined by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). 

“As we work alongside our customers toward a carbon neutral future, bridge solutions like alternative fuels are critical in decarbonizing existing equipment,” said Gary Johansen, vice president, Power Systems Engineering. “Approving unblended renewable diesel use in all high horsepower engines is one more step on our path of continued innovation to help our industrial customers reduce their carbon footprints while upholding performance and reliability standards.” 

Prior to this announcement, Cummins allowed up to 25 percent renewable diesel for high-horsepower engines for industrial applications, as well as up to 100 percent renewable diesel for the QSK95 engine for rail. Additionally, Cummins was first to market in fourth quarter of 2021 with the approval of 100 percent renewable diesel use in standby generator sets used in data centers and other key applications.

Technical evaluations of all high-horsepower engines utilizing renewable diesel included emissions cycle, performance, transient, fuel consumption testing as well as field testing.
The trials showed that exhaust emissions output continued to be comparable to engines operating on conventional diesel fuel and within established EPA targets with no changes to engine hardware and software. The trials also showed that, when compared to conventional diesel, the use of renewable diesel can serve as a drop-in replacement, as well as: 

    •Reduce well-to-work greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions up to 90 percent 

    •Reduce tailpipe emissions of particulate matter and smoke up to 50 percent

    •Experience only approximately 1-2 percent power loss 

    •Provide no impact to service/maintenance intervals

    •Be stored for longer duration 

Cummins high-horsepower engine platforms now approved for unblended HVO include the QSK19, K19, QSK23, QST30, QSK38, K38, QSK45, QSK50, K50, QSK60, QSK78, QSK95, V903 and ACE for all industrial segments. Operators should contact their local Cummins distributor for more information and the most recent fluids manual. 

This announcement is a strong example of Cummins’ commitment to advance the company’s current technology to achieve industry-leading emissions reductions. Through Planet 2050, Cummins pledges to address climate change, support communities and use resources wisely. 




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