Volvo encouraged by bio-DME field trials results 12 June 2012

Field trials of 10 Volvo trucks specially adapted to run on bio-DME (dimethyl ether) have now reached the halfway point and, according to the manufacturer, the results exceed expectations.

Bio-DME is produced from biomass, which reduces carbon emissions by 95% compared with conventional diesel. Volvo believes that, as a power source, it could prove revolutionary – and hence the trials, which have been running since last autumn.

"We have, for example, demonstrated both that the technology works in practice, when it comes to the production of fuel and trucks in traffic, and that the infrastructure with filling stations in Sweden works effectively. The test results bode well for the future," comments Lars Mårtensson, environmental director at Volvo Trucks.

"We have shown that it's possible to take an idea from the laboratory to full-scale operation and we have also successfully spread this knowledge all over the world," he continues.

"There is now a clear-cut interest from countries, including China, Russia and the USA, and they are markets with huge potential," he adds.

The bio-DME used in the Volvo Trucks field tests on Swedish roads is made from black liquor, a by-product from the production of pulp.

"Bio-DME could replace up to 50% of the diesel that is currently being consumed by commercial vehicles in Europe within the next 20 years," asserts Mårtensson. "We have a chance to make a fantastic contribution to help the environment."

John Challen

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Volvo Group UK Ltd

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