An intensive nine-month trial with 50 DAF New LF 230 fridge trucks fuelled with Shell Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) Fuel, Brakes, a leading supplier to the foodservice sector, has delivered significant air quality improvements including a 47% reduction in NOX emissions.
The company also reports quieter running and odour-free refuelling of the Shell GTL Fuel product at the pump. Importantly for Brakes’ urban operations, the use of Shell GTL Fuel means the requirement for periodic static regeneration of the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) has been virtually eliminated, which also has a beneficial effect on fuel efficiency.
The Shell GTL Fuel, exclusively supplied to the UK from Certas Energy, was introduced in October 2017 at Brakes’ Premier Park operation in Park Royal, London, in a bid to cut vehicle emissions across the capital. Figures obtained on the pilot programme have now been confirmed in independent, third-party tests by analysts at the Millbrook vehicle testing facility in Bedfordshire.
Crucially for Brakes – indeed, for any DAF operator – Shell GTL Fuel requires no vehicle modifications or changes to service intervals.
“The trial of Shell GTL Fuel at our Park Royal depot has been running really well,” said Steve Webster, Brakes’ Head of Indirect Goods & Services Procurement, “The feedback from the drivers has been overwhelmingly positive – the vehicles are running more quietly and we've seen a substantial reduction in the need to clean the particulate filters.
“Working alongside our key partners in this initiative – DAF Trucks UK and Certas Energy – we have funded our own analysis at Millbrook to measure the benefits of running on Shell GTL Fuel. The evidence,” he said, “has come back clearly showing that running Shell GTL Fuel in a city centre has a big impact on NOX emissions – indeed, our own test saw a 47% reduction compared to running on diesel.
“We have not waited for future technology either as there is no requirement to convert the vehicle. Shell GTL Fuel is available to use straight away in all diesel engines,” added Webster, “although operators may wish to confirm with their dealer that the fuel is approved for their vehicle warranty.”
DAF Trucks’ entire range of New LF, New CF and New XF vehicles, powered by the PACCAR PX and MX family of engines, is certified for use of GTL fuels, which deliver significant air quality benefits, in the form of reduced NOX and particulate emissions, compared to running on conventional diesel. DAF vehicles are also certified to use HVO (Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil) which offers an additional well-to-wheel carbon saving of over 90%.
“We’re very pleased with these in-service results,” said DAF Trucks Marketing Manager, Phil Moon, “Heavy-duty Euro VI compliant diesel engines emit very low levels of NOX and particulates, and by operating on clean-burning Shell GTL Fuel, combustion is cleaner and emissions are further reduced. The engine and its exhaust after-treatment system can spend more time operating in their more efficient modes,” he said, “potentially delivering improved fuel economy.
“If the improvements are significant – as clearly demonstrated by Brakes – we expect other operators to move to GTL and HVO to take advantage of the benefits.”