A note on Bio-fuels from The Volvo Group
Oil consumption is increasing at the same time as discoveries of major new oil reserves ae increasingly few and far between. In parallel, average temperatures are rising owning to the increasing emissions of carbon dioxides resulting from the burning of oil, coal and gas. No single fuel and no single engine type will alone be able to solve the energy problems of the future. The Volvo Group is therefore working across a broad front with development of future drivelines and on adjustment to new fuels in order to determine the relative potential of the various solutions.
Volvo supports an evaluation of different alternative fuels in order to reduce dependence on fossil fuel in construction equipment and in the transport sector. Considered feasible in Heavy Duty applications are:
- Bio-diesel (FAME/RME): Volvo supports up to a 30% blend in diesel fuel. The blend will vary depending on engine size. FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester)) is a renewable resource - produced from crops; it has a lower particulate emission and a lower emission of hydrocarbons; if it has lower sulphur content, sulphur dioxide emissions are lower.
- DME: regarded by the Volvo Group as one of the most efficient renewable fuels, an alternative with extremely low exhaust emissions and very close to CO2 neutral if produced from biomass. DME (dimethyl-ether) has a high overall energy efficiency…and only modest modifications are required to convert a diesel engine to run on DME.
Volvo views tomorrow's fuels and drivelines from what we term the "well-to-wheel" perspective. The aim is to obtain the maximum possible energy efficiency from the energy source itself all the way to the vehicle's wheels. We believe that energy supply will vary with regional conditions and requisites,a nd our task is to continue taking an active role in this development process.
Being the world's largest engine manufacturer for heavy duty vehicles, Volvo has excellent preconditions for tailoring our product range to suit the customer's energy availability and the work that the vehicle is required to do. In order to be able to offer the most cost-effective solution, one that is tailored to the customer's particular needs, Volvo is therefore working on several different alternatives for future drivelines and fuels.