Cooking oil salvaged from your soggy Maccas chips could help Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) reduce emissions from shipping its iron ore across the globe.

The Anglo-Australian mining behemoth has launched a trial with energy giant BP to curb emissions from its maritime operations with biofuels derived from recycled cooking fats.

It comes as Rio says it is on track to meet the International Maritime Organisation’s 2030 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in shipping by 40% by 2025, five years ahead of schedule from its owned and time-chartered fleet.

Rio says it has already delivered a 30% ‘intensity reduction’ from a 2008 baseline.

The new trial of BP’s B30 biofuel blend, Rio says, could reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions by up to 26% compared to standard marine fuel oil.

BP’s biofuel is made up of 30% fatty acid methyl esters — usually extricated from vegetable oil with alcohol via a process called transesterification — blended with low sulphur fuel oil.

It is a drop-in fuel, meaning its physical properties are similar to diesel and no changes are required to the engine or vessel.

A year long trial has been commissioned followed a successful journey from the trial ship, the RTM Tasman which refuelled with biofuel in Rotterdam and picked up its first load from Rio’s Iron Ore Company of Canada and the Sept-Iles port in Quebec last month.

“Sustainable biofuels have the potential to be an important transition fuel on the way to net-zero marine emissions and we are pleased to be working with bp to carry out this long-term trial,” Rio head of commercial operations Laure Baratgin said.

“A longer-duration trial will provide important information on the potential role and wide scale use of biofuels, and aligns with our goals to reduce marine emissions across our value chain and support efforts to decarbonise the maritime industry.

“Our ambition is to reach net-zero emissions from shipping of our products to customers by 2050 and to introduce net-zero carbon vessels into our portfolio by 2030. We know that we won’t meet these ambitions alone and along the way will need to work with capable and experienced companies such as bp.”



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Miners tread water

With few major commodity moves overnight, miners largely ambled through Tuesday trade with a handful of iron ore and lithium companies the standout large and mid caps.

Punters piled into $2 billion capped high grade Tasmanian iron ore miner Grange Resources (ASX:GRR), up almost 6% to a 14-year high of $1.69.

Iron ore and lithium producer Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) jumped out the gates early and still led the large caps but halved its gains to 1.5% by 3.50pm AEST.

Lithium stocks Allkem (ASX:AKE), Liontown (ASX:LTR) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) all rose to join African gold producer Perseus (ASX:PRU) and coal miner Yancoal (ASX:YAL) as midcap movers.

But mining and energy stocks in general fell back in afternoon trade as more negative data from lockdown hit China continues to emerge, with materials down 0.21% and energy off 0.05%.

Investment banks UBS and JP Morgan both cut their economic growth forecasts on the impact of the Covid Zero policy.



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