Sustainable fuels
Sustainable fuels


Fuelling a more sustainable future

Today’s Perkins engines are the product of 90 years of continuous engineering innovation focused on delivering ever higher levels of efficiency, reliability and durability, plus, in recent decades, ever lower levels of emissions. 



As well as offering a broad range of engines which meet the stringent EU Stage V and U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emission standards, Perkins’ long-standing commitment to sustainability and support for customers during the energy transition to a lower-carbon future means its engines have for many years been capable of running on a range of renewable and low carbon intensity fuels1.

What are renewable and low carbon intensity fuels?

Renewable fuels are derived from renewable resources such as planted crops (soy, palm, rapeseed, etc.), used cooking oil, animal fat, biomass, algae, and others. They reduce the carbon footprint of diesel engines on a Life Cycle Analysis basis. Renewable fuels that are derived from fats and oils may be processed through hydrotreating. The result is a high paraffinic renewable diesel (RD), also called hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), that can be used in diesel engines.

The performance of HVO is similar to regular diesel, but it reduces the carbon footprint associated with operating the engine and can lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) under certain conditions. Its chemical similarity to diesel means that the machine’s power output and uptime are not compromised when introducing HVO as an alternative, and it can also be blended with diesel.

Biomass and syn gas can also be converted into liquid fuels through various processes and their products are typically know as biomass-to-liquid (BTL) or gas-to-liquid (GTL). Depending on the original feedstock these products maybe renewable. BTL, GTL and HVO have similar chemistries and performance specifications, and all can be used in diesel engines.

Tell me more

Low carbon intensity (LCI) fuels are typically paraffinic hydrocarbons, hence these fuels, whether at 100% or blended, can be used as drop-in replacements for diesel fuel. These fuels have many benefits:

  • They can be renewable, which can significantly reduce the carbon footprint or Greenhouse Gas (GHG) impact of the engine up to 90%.
  • They have a high cetane number.
  • They can be formulated to provide low temperature capability. Consult with your supplier to ensure the fuel meets the ambient temperature requirements of the application.
  • They can reduce the emissions of certain products of incomplete combustion, such as unburned hydrocarbons (UHC), soot, and carbon monoxide (CO). They may also reduce NOx emissions under certain engine loads and cycles.

Using LCI fuels in your Perkins engine

To be applicable for Perkins’ diesel engines, it’s recommended that renewable and low carbon intensity fuels meet the latest version of any of the following specifications:

  • EN15940, which defines quality requirements for BTL, GTL and HVO. This is the preferred specification for renewable and low carbon intensity fuels.
  • ASTM D975, which is the specification for diesel fuel in the United States. 
  • EN 590, except for its density provisions. This is the specification for diesel fuel in Europe.
  • The Perkins Diesel Fuel Specification, except for its density provisions.

Renewable and low carbon intensity fuels that meet the requirements listed above can be used at:

  • 100 percent (may be called RD100, HVO100, or GTL 100)
  • Any blend level with diesel fuel
  • Any blend level with a maximum of 20% biodiesel2
  • Any blend level with a combination of diesel fuels and a maximum 20% biodiesel2

What else do I need to know?

Here’s some guidance and potential impacts for the use of renewable and low carbon fuels according to the specifications detailed above:

  • No specific engine conversion process is needed when these fuels are used for the first time or thereafter.
  • These fuels may reduce the power output of engines due to their low density. Up to a 5% reduction may be noted at full load. 
  • They are compatible with aftertreatment technologies such as diesel particulate filter (DPF), diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and SCR (selective catalytic reduction), and they can be used on engines that meet Stage V, Tier 4 Final and similar advanced emission standards. 
  • They are compatible with filters and engine oils used with typical diesel fuels. No impact on maintenance intervals is expected. In general, it is recommended that oil drain intervals are based on oil analysis. They are compatible with elastomeric materials and hoses used on most modern engines. Certain elastomers used in older engines, such as those manufactured prior to the early 1990s, may not be compatible with the new alternative fuels. Refer to your Perkins distributor for guidance.
  • They can be stored in the same tanks used for diesel fuel, and they have a similar aging life as diesel fuel.
  • As with all fuels, renewable and low carbon intensity fuels have to be managed to reduce contamination and water ingress.

The use of fuels with low carbon footprints supports Perkins’ sustainability initiatives.

Perkins is continuously following the development of renewable and low carbon intensity fuels, and is involved in the development of appropriate specifications to ensure the successful application of these fuels in Perkins engines.

1 Contact your Perkins distributor or reference your engine’s Operation and Maintenance manual to confirm the fuel compatibility and specification requirements for your engine.
2 See your engine’s Operation and Maintenance manual for specific biodiesel limits on your engine.



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