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Hitachi Construction Machinery Tierra started using BDF (bio diesel fuel)* forklifts on a trial basis in April 2007 as part of its environmentally friendly activities. They succeeded in using a BDF forklift with fuel containing 5% of BDF in fiscal 2007. In fiscal 2008, they started to use two BDF forklifts on a trial basis, and raised the BDF content of the fuel to 10%.
Two BDF forklifts
*BDF is made from plants such as rape and corn. The CO2 generated by burning BDF does not affect the quantity of CO2 in the air because of the CO2 that the plants extract from the air when they are growing. (This is called carbon neutral.)
As a result, the first BDF forklift has been used for about 3,500 hours over two years, and the second BDF forklift for about 1,600 hours in one year (so about 5,100 hours in total), and both of the forklifts have been operating soundly without problem. This trial use has shown that the BDF forklifts produce less of the black smoke and smell that are typical of diesel exhaust than the forklifts running on ordinary diesel, which improves worksite conditions.
They collected a total of about 600 liters of waste edible oil in two years from their employees’ canteen and their families. They removed about 1.6t of CO2 emission by using the waste edible oil to produce BDF.
Recycling waste edible oil
Taking into consideration the results stated above, they will extend the trial use and raise the BDF content of the fuel to 30% in fiscal 2009.