• Cummins Inc.

Cummins QSK95 locomotive engine proven fully compatible with renewable diesel


Photo: Cummins Inc.

Cummins Inc. announced in September that its popular Tier 4 QSK95 engine can be safely used with renewable diesel, without any negative impact to its current U.S. EPA emission requirements or reliability.

“Cummins is ready to assist customers on the decarbonization journey,” said Regina Barringer, Cummins’ general manager. “By working together, we can effect change for today’s climate crisis.”

Cummins partnered with Siemens Mobility to help customers meet their goal of running renewable diesel in QSK95-powered Charger locomotives to reduce emissions and use a fuel with lower carbon intensity.

As such, Cummins undertook extensive testing and investigating of the impact of renewable diesel on its QSK95 Tier 4 fuel and aftertreatment systems through performance, emissions and durability tests. For these tests, hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) was chosen.

HVO reduces well to work carbon intensity by up to 90 percent compared to conventional diesel fuel. HVO can be produced without fossil resources by processing lipids such as vegetable oil, tallow or used cooking oil.

Its chemical and physical properties are like those of diesel fuel, but its fossil-free composition and low carbon content provides a simple and efficient alternative to diesel.

Importantly, HVO can be blended and used in any proportion with diesel, which allows for ease of transition.

The tests showed that the QSK95 engine not only meets all of its Tier 4 EPA emissions targets using this renewable fuel, but it also recorded additional positive environmental impacts:

  • Up to 13 percent additional reduction in NOx


  • Up to 5 percent additional reduction in diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) consumption


  • Up to 50 percent additional reduction in particulate-matter (PM) emissions using renewable diesel compared to traditional diesel in rail applications

“Siemens Chargers continue to transform passenger rail throughout North America,” said Armin Kick, vice president of locomotives and high-speed trainsets for Siemens Mobility in North America. “Now being able to incorporate renewable fuel into Charger operations will allow our customers to make even more meaningful inroads into their sustainability efforts.”

This initiative is a strong example of Cummins’ overall commitment to develop innovative solutions that enable decarbonization, and proactively advance the company’s current technology to achieve industry-leading emissions reductions.

Through Planet 2050, Cummins pledges to address climate change, support communities and use resources wisely.

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