Trials of an alternative fuel in construction projects on Londonâ€™s underground transport network have heralded a â€˜significantâ€™ reduction in emissions of particulate matter, TfL has claimed.
EcoPar â€“ a â€˜clean burning dieselâ€™ made from natural gases has been used in generators in tunnels on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and District lines to assess the potential for wider use.
Details of the trial will be presented to Transport for Londonâ€™s board at a meeting on Tuesday (19 September) in report by the Transport Commissioner Mike Brown. Results to date have been encouraging, the Commissionerâ€™s report suggests.
In the report, the Commissioner wrote: â€œWe are trialling an alternative fuel for construction equipment in London Underground tunnels, which is reducing emissions significantly. This is helping us to support the Mayorâ€™s clean air strategy and is particularly beneficial to our workforce.
â€œEcoPar is a low-carbon fuel based on natural gas that almost completely eradicates harmful diesel Particulate Matter. It is exceptionally effective in areas of poor air ventilation and needs no modifications to engines.
â€œThe modernisation programme on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & Metropolitan City and lines has been trialling the fuel in diesel generators in tunnel sections to mimic genuine working conditions. People working in tunnels or areas of restricted air movement need to wear carbon monoxide monitors and stop work to move areas when the monitors are triggered – to date there have been no carbon monoxide monitors triggered when using EcoPar.â€
Elsewhere in the report, the Commissioner highlights improvements in air quality recorded on Putney High Street as a result of the cityâ€™s first Low Emission Bus Zone which features seven low-emission routes from a fleet of 145 ultra clean Euro VI buses.
Since the launch of the zones in March, there has been a sharp fall in excessive pollution according to provisional monitoring results collected by Wandsworth council, and published earlier this summer (see airqualitynews.com story).
Londonâ€™s second Low Emissions Bus Zone will be launched between Brixton and Streatham this autumn. It will require 450 buses to meet the ultra clean Euro VI engine emissions standard.