Did you know that used oil can be used as fuel for boats?

When it comes to cooking, a suitable oil that has hardly been used can be reused to make a new dish. However, there comes a time when it is no longer healthy for our body, but not so much for the atmosphere, since it can also be used as fuel. Volkswagen, for example, will use this vegetable waste liquid for specific new vehicle shipping routes via a couple of cargo ships.

The fuel above is produced from materials such as oil from bars and restaurants in the food industry. The Wolfsburg firm has already confirmed its use on one of “its” ships; Volkswagen does not manufacture any boats beyond the Touareg, so it rents them out to third parties for several weeks a year to cover its shipments across the globe. The Ro-Ro Patara freighter was first fueled with the protein-rich vegetable gasoline in mid-November 2020, and a second ship will follow in early 2021.

“We are the first automaker to make widespread use of this fuel. In this way, we reuse used oil in an environmentally friendly way. With 85% less CO 2 emissions than with conventional fossil fuels, the contribution to climate protection is enormous,” says Thomas Zernechel, director of logistics for the Volkswagen Group. In this way, the German manufacturer is committed to a form of marine ecology different from that of the competition, such as Toyota and Kawasaki in their hydrogen boats.

For European shipments, Volkswagen continuously rents two vessels carrying up to 3,500 vehicles on a route that runs from the German city of Emden to Dublin, Ireland, and passes through Santander, Spain, and Setubal, Portugal, before returning to Emden; a trip he makes about 50 times a year. In the course of their journeys, each year, they transport around 250,000 new cars of the brands Audi, SEAT, Škoda, and Volkswagen itself; Bentley, Bugatti, Cupra, Lamborghini, MAN, Porsche, and Scania models choose other delivery routes.

The two boats are each 180 meters in length (length). They are powered by a MAN-signed marine diesel engine with more than 19,000 hp. In the future, both ships will refuel at sea off the coast of Vlissingen in the Netherlands with alternative fuel supplied by the Dutch company GoodFuels. In this way, the CO 2 emissions of the two ships will be reduced by just over 85% along their entire route, from 60,000 to 9,000 tons per year. Furthermore, emissions of sulfur oxide (SOx ) will be almost completely avoided.

This change is part of the strategy to make the Group’s logistics even more respectful of the environment after the Dieselgate scandal. Because in addition to reused restaurant oil, another fuel used to power the freighters that sail between Europe, North America, and Latin America is liquefied natural gas (LNG). On the other hand, all the loads that go by rail in Germany will be carried out with renewable energies. “In this way, Volkswagen helps the Group achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Zernechel.

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