Volvo to Begin Field Tests on Methane-Diesel Heavy Trucks

Volvo Methane-Diesel Truck
Volvo Methane-Diesel Truck

In brief: Volvo Trucks has announced that they will be field testing heavy-duty diesel trucks with a combined methane and diesel fuel in 2010.

Vehicle in the news

Make/Model: Various using Euro-5 Engines
Manufacturer: Volvo Trucks

The word

Volvo Truck Methane-Diesel

The field tests will take place in Sweden and the United Kingdom throughout 2010. Fuel mixtures will include up to 70% methane gas mixed with both diesel and bio-diesel blends. Volvo is expecting trials to show that even higher mixes of methane (up to 90%) may be possible.

This unique technology allows us to combine the advantages of gas with the diesel engine's high efficiency rating ... As a result, this truck consumes about 30 per cent less energy than traditional gas trucks do.
--Lars Martensson, Environmental Director Volvo Trucks

Volvo will be using two types of compressed methane in these trials and all of the vehicles involved will be capable of running on only diesel should the compressed gas tanks empty while in operation.

Volvo Truck adThe two methane types to be tested are liquid-volume efficient methane gas (LNG/LBG) or pressurized methane gas (CNG/CBG). When diesel fuel ignites in the compression chamber, the gas ignites with it. To the driver, no difference is noticed as the gas level is increased and diesel levels decreased during operation.

And so ...

With an expected higher efficiency rate and near-zero emissions, this is a big step forward for the near-term needs of heavy hauling and transportation.

Photo credits: Volvo Trucks

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