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Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 904;

Introduction of Biodiesel to Rail Transport: Lessons from the Road Sector

School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 October 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Transport: Transport, Environment, and Development)
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Biodiesel is a potentially low-carbon, renewable alternative fuel to diesel, sharing similar chemical and physical properties to diesel. There have been significant efforts in introducing primarily bioethanol and some biodiesel to the road transport sector, with varying levels of success. However, the rail sector has not seen as large an effort in introducing biodiesel. This paper summarizes the literature on the introduction of biodiesel (bioethanol was a relevant fuel) in order to learn lessons, which can be applied to the rail transport sector. A decision-making framework PESTLE (Political/Policies, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental) is used to analyze these lessons, and their relevance (or not) to the rail sector. While introduction of biodiesel in the rail sector has some inherent advantages, such as fewer refueling points, customers and manufacturers compared to the road sector, it also faces some challenges, especially in the context of the longer life of locomotives, making fleet turnover and potential transition to 100% biodiesel slow. Additionally, maintenance costs are still uncertain. View Full-Text
Keywords: lessons learned; biodiesel; alternative energy; transport sector; rail; PESTLE lessons learned; biodiesel; alternative energy; transport sector; rail; PESTLE

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Stead, C.; Wadud, Z.; Nash, C.; Li, H. Introduction of Biodiesel to Rail Transport: Lessons from the Road Sector. Sustainability 2019, 11, 904.

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