UP Eyes Higher Biodiesel Blends

Union Pacific to Use Higher Biodiesel Blends in California

OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) -- Union Pacific Railroad on Tuesday announced it will begin using a higher biodiesel blend in locomotives it acquired from Wabtec. The company said the new collaboration helps Union Pacific as it works to increase the percentage of low-carbon fuels consumed to 10% of its total diesel consumption by 2025 and 20% by 2030.

Union Pacific will begin testing with B20 biodiesel and R55 renewable diesel on trains powered by Wabtec FDL engines operating in California in the second quarter. As testing progresses, it is anticipated that higher percentages of biofuels will be used. The project will help Union Pacific meet its science-based target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26% by 2030 and reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

"Increasing use of renewable diesels and biofuels currently represents the most promising avenue to help Union Pacific meet its environmental goals," said Beth Whited, Union Pacific's executive vice president of sustainability and strategy. "We want to drive emissions down as quickly as possible, and we believe this new project with Wabtec will make a difference."

Wabtec locomotives were previously approved for B5 R30 -- 5% biodiesel and 30% renewable diesel -- for locomotive engines.

"Union Pacific has a comprehensive ESG initiative, which includes the exploration of alternative fuels and emerging technologies," said Bob Bremmer, group vice president for Wabtec's Fleet Innovation and Transformation Division. "Biodiesel and renewable diesel are important sustainable solutions for the rail industry both in the near-term and in the future."