Mercedes’ F1 team used biofuel to cut freight carbon emissions by 89 percent

isn’t exactly the greenest organization, but it’s trying to go a lot greener. F1 is aiming for the end of the decade and has been for the past few years. F1 executives aim to use only sustainable fuels in F1 cars. However, racing cars are only a small part of the puzzle. Running two dozen grands prix around the world requires moving cars, parts and other materials between circuits, causing more CO2 emissions.

However, the Mercedes-AMG F1 team has been experimenting with a way to reduce freight emissions. It used biofuel from hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO 100) in 16 trucks when it switched operations between Spa, Zandvoort and Monza for the final three European Grands Prix of the season. Because these circuits are relatively close together, Mercedes, for example, didn’t have to rely on air freight to ship cars and components. This gave the team a good opportunity to test the biofuel over a total distance of around 1,400 kilometers. However, the team found that due to supply issues, diesel fuel had to be used for the last 20 km (just over 12 miles).

An analysis showed that the use of HVO 100 reduced freight emissions by 89 percent. Overall, Mercedes saved 44,091 kg (97,204 pounds) of carbon emissions compared to just using diesel for both trips. It stated that HVO 100 is derived from vegetable oils, waste oils and fats and that it is completely free of fossil fuels. The fuel also causes less NOx and particle emissions.

“Sustainability is at the heart of what we do. Trialing the use of biofuels for our land freight is another example of our commitment to integrate sustainability into all our decisions and actions,” said Mercedes F1 Team Principal Toto Wolff. “We want to be at the forefront of change and hope we can enable the adoption of sustainable technologies as we are all in the race for a sustainable tomorrow.”

Other biofuels are being tested for use in Formula 1. Teams began using E10 biofuels (which contain 10 percent renewable ethanol) in F1 cars this season as part of the transition to fully sustainable fuels. While that’s still a long way from using fully sustainable fuels, the use of E10 and HVO 100 are positive steps towards making motorsport much healthier for the environment.

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