TEC tests biodiesel’s impact on health
For two months, a bus lent by the Walloon public transport company, TEC, will run up and down a closed portion of the road to see what impact on air quality a switch to biodiesel would have.
The bus will drive on two fuels, one with 7% biodiesel and another with a concentration of 30%. Researcher Séverine Cassier will check for small particulates, CO2, NO2, methane and other polluting gases.
We already know the positive impact of biodiesel for its production, but how do its emissions compare to conventional fuels? Supported by the VUB and UCLouvain, Ph.D. student and researcher, Séverine Cassier, will run tests on a bus lent by the TEC.
The bus will run on three different sorts of fuel. The first one resembles the most conventional diesel, as it only includes 7% of biodiesel (B7). “We’ll also test a mix of 30% biodiesel produced from coleseed oil, and another one with 30% biodiesel from used cooking oil,” explains Séverine Cassier.
Inside the bus, special equipment will collect part of the exhaust fumes and analyze them. In real-time, it will be able to give a reading on the number of small particulates, CO, CO2, NO2, methane, and other polluting gases.
The equipment will allow the researcher to quantify the emissions precisely, using into account external parameters, such as the weather. Thus Mrs. Cassier should be able to give a definitive answer to the real-life emissions of biodiesels.
Backed by Liège and Bioro
The city of Liège is backing the Ph.D. student in her research by, among other things, closing down a portion of the road for the driving tests. With 625.000 citizens, Liège represents 40% of all TEC users. Finding a cleaner fuel is, therefore, an interesting point for the ecological transition.
Currently, the TEC fleet running around the city is between eight and nine years old. Despite their age, those buses will still drive for some more years, before cleaner replacements come. Let’s note that the research is funded (25.000 euros) by a Ghent refinery that produces biodiesel.