News On Japan

Japan's First Bio-Coke Steam Locomotive

TOKYO, Jan 31 (News On Japan) - Japan has embarked on a pioneering experiment in Tochigi Prefecture, using plant-based fuel, known as 'bio-coke', in a steam locomotive for the first time in the country.

Steam locomotives traditionally run on steam generated by burning coal. However, Tobu Railway is testing the use of bio-coke for 40% of the fuel in its tourist steam locomotive, the 'SL Taiju'. This experiment aims to evaluate the practicality of bio-coke, focusing on combustion efficiency and its impact on the boiler.

The trial, set to last approximately one year, is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by about 150 tons annually.

During the experiment, the number plates of steam locomotives using bio-coke will be colored green to signify their eco-friendly nature.

Additionally, Tobu Railway plans to replace diesel in diesel locomotives with a mix of biodiesel and light oil. This initiative is projected to further cut CO2 emissions by 2.5 tons each year.

These efforts mark a significant step in Japan's pursuit of sustainable and environmentally friendly rail transport solutions, showcasing innovation in traditional steam locomotive technology.

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