Engine and power plant manufacturer Wärtsilä has completed a number of tests that demonstrate the ability of its engines to operate on a range of vegetable and animal-based oils. In the tests, conducted between February and April of this year at the VTT technical research centre in Espoo, Finland, a Wärtsilä Vasa 4R32 engine successfully operated on jatropha oil, fish oil and chicken oil.

The first tests with engines running on a liquid biofuel were carried out in 1995, when Wärtsilä began testing with rapeseed oil. Since 2003, Wärtsilä engine power plants have been in commercial operation using palm oil as the fuel source, and the company has actively pursued this sector. For example, the company says it has more than 95% of the market for power generation from liquid biofuels in Italy.

The aim of the most recent tests has been to assess the capability of engines to operate on renewable fuels that do not compete with agricultural uses.