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View from central Helsinki: buses leaving the main railway station. Image by Helsinki Regional Transport

Helsinki gets cleaner biofuel buses

November 06, 2012

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by buses, the Helsinki Transport Authority with its partners carried out a 3.5 years project called OPIOBIO to search for alternative energy for buses.

The OPTIBIO demonstrates the successful partnership between the public and private sectors. Their combined interests and resources have made possible the HVO test the largest field study of its kind in the world.

The project  involved a field test with 300 buses from four bus operators in the Helsinki metropolitan area from 2007 to 2010. It was supplemented a comprehensive in-laboratory research programme.

The results confirmed that paraffinic hydortreated vegetable – advanced renewable biofuels – can completely replace fossil fuel while reducing harmful emissions without inducing additional costs or causing any operational problem – even during exceptionally cold when temperature drops to below - 25C. The proven results have made several bus operators adopt HVO as drop-in fuel.

Read the full ICLEI case study for more information on how you could apply some of these ideas in your city.