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Shropshire haulage fleet becomes carbon-neutral

Shropshire haulier H. Wragg Transport Ltd has dramatically reduced the carbon footprint of its fleet by converting all fifteen 44-tonne tractor units to operate on Verdant Fuel, the cleanest, purest biofuel available. Manufactured from high-quality plant oil produced from renewable and sustainable sources, Verdant Fuel is an entirely natural product which has no adverse ecological effect when used. Its extremely low CO2 footprint means that a heavy goods vehicle operating on it produces approximately 30 times less CO2 than it would using a conventional biodiesel blend.

Malcolm Wragg, who operates the family-owned business at Little Hereford near Tenbury Wells, comments: “I believe that the transport industry must take positive steps to reduce its environmental impact, which will involve cutting vehicle emissions. Converting our own fleet to operate on this new fuel will help to meet that objective.”

When Malcolm heard about the ELSBETT conversion system and the environmental benefits of operating vehicles on Verdant Fuel he realised that not only did it offer an ideal way of minimising his own firm's carbon footprint but also of appealing to potential customers who, he says, are becoming increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their own businesses. During a visit to ELSBETT's factory in Germany Malcolm also visited a German haulier who had already converted a third of their 800 trucks to operate on Verdant Fuel and was already achieving substantial emissions savings.

Malcolm subsequently decided to evaluate the ELSBETT system and had it fitted to a brand new Mercedes Actros 2546LS. The first new UK-registered vehicle so equipped, it uses a 12-litre turbocharged and inter-cooled Mercedes-Benz OM501LA V6 direct injection diesel which develops 456hp at 1800rpm and 1623 lb ft of torque at 1080rpm. Verdant Fuel held in a 450-litre tank is supplemented by 210 litres of normal derv in a separate tank. When started from cold, the engine initially runs on ordinary diesel, but automatically switches to Verdant Fuel once it reaches a pre-set temperature. Phil Haines, the Mercedes' regular driver, says there is no apparent difference in the engine's power, torque or fuel consumption, nor the vehicle's overall 'driveability'.

Following this positive experience, H. Wragg Transport's remaining vehicles, comprising mainly 44-tonne MAN 440hp and 480hp tractor units were recently converted to operate on Verdant Fuel, which has a carbon footprint even lower than Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG). Unlike ordinary B5 biodiesel, which includes just 5% of renewable fuel by volume and reduces CO2 emissions by only 1% compared with conventional diesel, Verdant Fuel produces a whole-cycle CO2 saving of more than 70%, a figure which has been independently assessed by a leading climate change consultancy.

James Scruby of Verdant Fuels, comments: “Vehicles fitted with ELSBETT technology and operating on Verdant Fuel achieve dramatic CO2 savings. A typical heavy tractor unit which completes 60,000 miles a year at an average fuel consumption of 7mpg would save approximately twice its gross laden weight in CO2 emissions per year compared with a conventional diesel-fuelled equivalent. This is achieved without any risk of creating deforestation, social problems in developing economies or significantly impacting on the price of staple foods. Furthermore, because Verdant Fuel contains no sulphur, emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) are virtually zero, while nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is reduced by the exhaust treatment systems fitted to modern truck engines, either the exhaust gas recirculation type which are fitted to Malcolm Wragg's MAN vehicles or the AdBlue system used on the Mercedes.”

Malcolm Wragg adds: “Becoming carbon-neutral has been surprisingly easy and by highlighting what we are doing hopefully others will be encouraged to change the way in which they operate.”

In April 2008, the Renewable transport Fuel obligation (RTFO) will lead to a further price benefit in favour of Verdant Fuel, making it the cheapest sustainable fuel option – after an initial investment – and very similar in character to LPG. Verdant Fuel can be used in most diesel-powered vehicles with a simple modification to the engine.

To harness the considerable ecological and commercial benefits of its products, Verdant Fuel works closely with ELSBETT UK, a company which provides a range of highly-engineered technical solutions to enable almost any modern diesel-engined vehicle to operate on this exceptionally environmentally-friendly product.

Further details about ELSBETT products are available from ELSBETT UK on 0845 4632679, or visit www.elsbett.com. Further information on Verdant Fuels is available from 0845 4632679 or 07968 748959 and at www.verdantfuels.com

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