Volvo unveils alternative-fuel truck

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, (May 27 2005) — The Volvo Group has rolled out a truck equipped with a DME-powered engine. DME (dimethylether) is an LPG-like fuel that can be produced from biomass and residual products from paper pulp production.

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 catalysed to produce DME.

The truck was unveiled in conjunction with the conference on biofuels, Synbios, which took place in Stockholm May 18 to 20.

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

The vehicle is a standard Volvo FM model equipped with a 9-litre diesel engine adapted to operate on DME. Volvos studies have shown that DME has the potential to become a competitive alternative to 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,” says 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.”

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