DME mirrors the performance qualities and energy efficiency of diesel while significantly reducing GHG emissions, added Huibers. It is an “excellent” compression ignition fuel which, like diesel, requires no separate ignition mechanism.
Unlike LNG, DME does not require cryogenic temperatures. It is handled like propane, with tank pressures of 75 psi - vs. 3,000 psi for CNG, and it is non-toxic.
DME burns with a blue flame and requires no diesel particulate filter.
DME packages densely enough to allow long range transports or to allow room for vocational truck equipment on the frame.
“Since we adopted Environmental Care as a core value in 1970s, Volvo has dedicated the resources necessary to lead in alternative fuel technologies,” Huibers said. “We demonstrated in 2007 our ability to run vehicles on seven different renewable fuels (biodiesel, synthetic diesel, DME, methanol/ethanol, biogas, hydrogen and biogas and biogas and biodiesel, and we continue to refine our work with a variety alternative fuels and drivelines.”
All seven renewable fuels have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from commercial vehicles.
“Our comprehensive ‘Blue Power’ strategy - including CNG, LNG, and potentially DME - means we’ll have a complete range of natural gas solutions as the infrastructure develops,” he said.
Engine technology for alternative fuels is not the problem, Persson pointed out, as that is in place. The challenge is which technology will be used, and Volvo believes this will be a regional issue, and that is why the company is developing so many different alternatives.
Amended joint-venture agreement with Westport Innovations