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Decarbonising Recycling Plants and Construction Sites

April 10, 2023

With net zero targets high on the agenda for recycling plants and construction sites, operators need to consider alternative ways to fuel and power their equipment. Diesel and other fossil fuels pollute the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other emissions and are no longer fit for purpose.

As the leading equipment supplier in the UK, Molson provides an extensive range of environmentally friendly options to help companies transition to cleaner, greener energy. These include powering existing equipment with alternative fuels, such as HVO, and replacing diesel machines with modern hybrid or fully electric models. Whichever option you choose, Molson has the engineering experience and expertise to fully support your net zero strategy.

What is Net Zero?

Net zero is a reduction in net carbon emissions of 100% or more, compared to 1990 levels. This target is contained in the landmark Paris Agreement of 2015.

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty that committed the 196 parties present at COP21 to work towards a 43% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and a 100% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This was enshrined in UK law under the Climate Change Act.

Changing to HVO fuels

The simplest step to reduce carbon emissions is to change from fossil fuels, such as red and white diesel, to less-polluting fuels, such as Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO). HVO can be used as a like for like replacement for diesel in all machines supplied by Molson, with no modifications required. HVO can even be used to top up a tank of diesel without the need for draining the existing fuel or cleaning the tank.

As a fossil-free paraffinic diesel, HVO cuts carbon dioxide emissions by up to 90%, while still meeting EN 15940 fuel standards. It also significantly reduces nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide and particulate emissions. However, these reductions come at a cost, with HVO being more expensive than traditional diesel.

Hybrid and electric machines

While changing to HVO fuels will cut your carbon emissions by up to 90%, you can only achieve a 100% cut by switching to electric machines. These are completely emission-free, yet they deliver the same power and performance as their diesel counterparts with significantly reduced running costs. Electric machines also deliver significant savings in service and maintenance compared to diesel powered equivalents.

Molson offers a wide range of electrically powered machines for recycling plants and construction sites in three types:

  • Hybrid machines – some hybrid machines, such as the Sennebogen 821E, combine the environmental benefits of electric machines, with the flexibility of mind of a diesel engine to move machines beyond the reach of the electrical supply. Others, such as the Sennebogen 735E, offer diesel powered operation with electric drive to move the machines.
  • Tethered machines – these are fully electric machines that are hard-wired into the grid. Such machines are ideal for static operations, such as portside or recycling plants. This equipment may require additional infrastructure, such as cabling, which can add to the initial cost, however they are more energy efficient and so deliver lower operating costs in the long term.
  • Untethered machines – these provide the ultimate flexibility for electric machines and equipment. Powered by substantial batteries, they can be used right across your site without restriction. These machines may also require some infrastructure investment to provide charging points, although once again they will deliver reduced operating costs in the long term.

If your company is committed to net zero, Molson has the experience and expertise you need to achieve your goals. Contact our sales team today to discuss your equipment requirements, or download brochures online for the latest electric machines from Sennebogen, Finlay and Kobelco.