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Volvo premieres DME-powered truck

STOCKHOLM --The Volvo Group is showing a truck equipped with a DME engine for the first time today.

STOCKHOLM –The Volvo Group is showing a truck equipped with a DME engine for the first time today.

DME (dimethylether) is an LPG-like fuel (Liquified Petroleum Gas) that can be produced from biomass and residual products from paper pulp production.

"DME offers major benefits environmentally and we believe that DME can be an excellent fuel for future commercial transports," said Leif Johansson, Volvo’s CEO.

The truck is being unveiled in conjunction with the conference on biofuels, Synbios, being held in Stockholm May 18 to 20. The vehicle, a standard Volvo FM model, is equipped with a 9-litre diesel engine adapted to operate on DME. Volvo’s own studies have shown that in the future DME has major potential to become a highly competitive alternative to today’s fossil fuels. One of the most significant arguments for DME is that today it is the alternative fuel with the highest energy efficiency and among the lowest in emissions of carbon dioxide and particles.

"We know that in 20 years, alternative fuels will successively become increasingly commercially viable," said Volvo CEO Leif Johansson. "Energy efficiency will become decisive and DME is truly an energy efficient fuel. A result of this energy efficiency is lower environmental impact and reduced operating costs."

DME is a fuel that at relatively low pressure becomes a liquid. DME is produced through gasification of various renewable substances or fossil fuels. The gas that is formed, synthetic gas, is then catalyzed to produce DME.

DME is already used today as propellant gas in spray cans. The fuel is particularly attractive for Sweden, since it is possible to produce it from black liquor, a residual product from production of paper pulp.

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