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Volvo displays CO2-free trucks

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- The Volvo Group has produced seven demonstration trucks that can all be driven without emittin...

Volvo has developed seven demonstration model trucks, which run solely on renewable fuels.
Volvo has developed seven demonstration model trucks, which run solely on renewable fuels.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — The Volvo Group has produced seven demonstration trucks that can all be driven without emitting any environmentally harmful carbon dioxide.

These trucks were exhibited for the first time in Stockholm on Aug. 29 and are equipped with diesel engines, which have been modified to operate on seven different types of renewable liquid and gaseous fuels.

Volvo is part of the climate problem, but today we have shown that carbon-dioxide free transports are a possibility and that we as a vehicle manufacturer both can and will be part for the solution to the climate issue, said Leif Johansson, CEO of the Volvo Group.

The seven Volvo FM trucks are equipped with Volvos own 9-litre engines that have been specially modified by the groups engineers to illustrate the possibilities of carbon-dioxide-free transport.

The seven trucks exhibited in Stockholm can be operated on the same number of different renewable fuels and/or combinations of fuels: biodiesel, biogas combined with biodiesel, ethanol/methanol, DME, synthetic diesel and hydrogen gas combined with biogas. Since all of these fuels are produced from renewable raw materials, they provide no carbon-dioxide contributions to the ecosystem when combusted.

The diesel engine is an extremely efficient energy converter that is perfectly suited to many different renewable fuels, liquid or gaseous, said Jan-Eric Sundgren, senior vice-president, public and environmental affairs. With our know-how in engine technology and our large volumes, we can manufacture engines for several different renewable fuels, and also create possibilities for carbon-dioxide-free transports in such other product areas as buses, construction equipment and boats.

However, the supply of different renewable fuels is limited and there is no large-scale production or distribution for the majority of the alternatives that could be utilized in carbon-dioxide-free transports, according to Volvo.

With these vehicles, we have shown that Volvo is ready, that we possess the technology and the resources for carbon-dioxide-free transport, but we cannot do this alone, added Johansson. We also require large-scale production of renewable fuels and putting such production in operation requires extensive investments in research and development, and also well-defined, common guidelines from authorities in as many countries as possible.

The trucks exhibited in Stockholm were operated on the seven following renewable
fuels/fuel combinations:

Biodiesel – produced by the esterification of vegetable oils. Rapeseed oil and sunflower seed oil are the most common raw materials in Europe.

Biogas – a gaseous fuel that is largely comprised of hydrocarboned methane. Biogas can be extracted in sewage treatment works, at garbage dumps, and at other sites at which biodegradable materials are found.

Biogas + biodiesel – combined in separate tanks and injection systems. A small percentage of biodiesel, or synthetic diesel, is used for achieving compression ignition. The biogas in this alternative is in a cooled and liquid form that increases its range.

DME (Dimethyl ether) – a gas that is handled in liquid form under low pressure. DME is produced through the gasification of biomass.

Ethanol/Methanol – produced through the gasification of biomass and ethanol through the fermentation of crops rich in sugar and starch.

Synthetic Diesel – a mixture of synthetically manufactured hydrocarbon produced through the gasification of biomass. Synthetic diesel can be mixed with conventional diesel fuel without problem.

Hydrogen gas + Biogas – a combination of hydrogen gas and biogas whereby the hydrogen gas is mixed in small volumes with compressed biogas (8% volume). The hydrogen gas can be produced through the gasification of biomass or electrolysis of water with renewable electricity.

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