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Venice's vaporetti to trial Eni's renewable diesel

In Venice, public transport operator Gruppo AVM together with the City of Venice, the multi-utility waste management company Veritas and Italy-headed oil and gas major Eni S.p.A has launched a project to trial Eni's renewable diesel in public transport vessels operated by AVM. Waste vegetable and used cooking oil (UCO) from the region is converted to green diesel at Eni's Porto Marghera biorefinery and will be trialed as a 15 percent blend.

Venice is embodying the circular economy as it takes to collect used cooking oil (UCO) from its citizens and transforms it into biofuel for the city’s vaporetti public transport (photo courtesy Gruppo AVM).

Eni and the City of Venice, together with the AVM Group and Veritas, have signed an agreement to launch a large-scale experimental project based on the use Eni Diesel+ in part of its public transport fleet. Eni’s new fuel is 15% renewable and will be supplied to the Venetian public transport company at the same cost as traditional diesel.

According to a statement, the trial will run for seven months, from 1 April 1 to October 31, 2018. All the vessels of the AVM/Actv fleet, vaporetti, which currently run on traditional diesel fuel, will use the new fuel, the vegetable part of which is produced in Porto Marghera, Venice where Eni has converted a conventional refinery into a biorefinery.

The biorefinery, reputedly the first-of-its-kind in the world, is able to transform raw materials of biogenic origin, including used vegetable oils and animal fats, into high-quality biofuels. Under the agreement, Veritas will collect and clean used cooking oil (UCO) in the Venice area and deliver it to Eni’s biorefinery in Venice.

First marine testing

To test the results of reduction in polluting emissions from Eni Diesel+, a Euro 3 bus was used at Eni’s laboratories in Milan. Eni carried out tests in collaboration with and under the supervision of the Istituto Motori of the CNR in Naples, aimed at validating the positive impact of the use of Eni Diesel+.

According to Eni, laboratory tests have shown a reduction in polluting emissions, in particular, nitrogen oxides (NOx), as well as ultrafine particulate matter (PM), in addition to lower consumption, due to the high calorific value of the fuel’s biological component.

The first tests by Eni ever on marine engines will be carried out during the experimentation phase in Venice: an engine of a vaporetto running on the new diesel will be subjected to bench tests to analyse the emissions and consumption carried out by AVM/Act, using a test protocol of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and by the Istituto Motori of the CNR of Naples for Eni.

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