Volvo and Mack engines are first to EPA 2010 06 January 2010

Volvo and Mack are the first truck manufacturers to have their engines certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency as meeting the 2010 diesel emissions standard.

The approval applies to their heavy-duty 11 and 13 litre diesel engines, and, according to Peter Karlsten, Volvo Group chief technical officer, was granted without the use of emissions credits.

Karlsten says Volvo and Mack's combined EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) and SCR-based (selective catalytic reduction) engine technology cut emissions of NOX and particulates to "near zero" – although the standard is not as demanding as Euro 6 in 2013.

He also claims it has improved fuel consumption figures, resulting in further reduced CO2 emissions.

Meanwhile, Volvo also says it intends to be the first to field an efficient diesel engine fuelled by a methane gas and diesel mix to Euro-5 emission standards. Field testing is due to start in Sweden and the UK shortly.

This could be a significant development: operators can expect not only 30% better energy efficiency than was possible with conventional gas engine trucks, but also 50% greater range for haulage operations.

As Lars Mårtensson, environmental director Volvo Trucks, explains: "This technology allows us to combine the advantages of gas with the diesel engine's high efficiency, which is about 50% superior to that of the spark plug engine."

Volvo says that, following its 2007 trials with several biofuels on FM trucks, it is now focusing on just two renewable fuels – DME (dimethyl ether) and the methane/diesel mix.

Brian Tinham

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