Volvo to test DME alternative fuel in Europe

Truck News

GOTHENBURG, Sweden — Volvo is continuing to test the viability of alternative fuel dimethylether (DME) through a unique field test in Europe.


The truck maker will be testing bio-DME, a biofuel that produces very little CO2 emissions. Volvo says long-term, DME could replace about 50% of the diesel used for transport operations in Europe.


Volvo’s field testing will commence in 2010 with hopes of reducing CO2 emissions by 95% compared to diesel. DME is produced from biomass and boasts high energy efficiency as well as low greenhouse gas emissions, according to Volvo.


The field testing project will include 14 Volvo FH trucks which will be tested by customers at four Swedish locations between 2010 and 2012. The trucks will feature a regular Volvo D13 engine which will be modified to run off the alternative fuel.


“Behind the wheel, it’s business as usual. Performance and driving properties are exactly the same as in the diesel variant. The difference and the major benefit with Bio-DME lies in its low carbon dioxide emissions,” says Mats Franzen, product manager, engines at Volvo Trucks.


Benefits will also include lower noise levels, the truck maker says.

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