Volvo to develop third-generation DME engines

The energy authorities in Sweden have now granted Volvo SEK 62 M (A$11.5 M) in support for technical development of the third-generation alternative fuel Dimethyl Ether (DME) engine, for heavy vehicles during the period 2006-2010.

The project will deliver automotive technology for a major field test with DME-powered trucks planned for the years 2009 and 2010.

Volvo is also investing a large amount in the project.

A small field test will be initiated already in slightly less than a year with trucks based on the second-generation DME technology, which was presented in 2005.

Volvo's own studies have shown that DME has potential to become a competitive alternative to today's fossil fuels.

One of the most significant arguments for DME is that it is the alternative fuel with the highest energy efficiency and among the lowest in emissions of carbon dioxide and particles.

DME is a fuel that at relatively low pressure becomes a liquid. DME is produced through gasification of various renewable substance or fossil fuels.

The gas that is formed, synthetic gas, is then catalyzed to produce DME.

DME is already used today as propellant gas in spray cans.

DME is also attractive for Sweden, since it is possible to produce it from black liquor, a residual product from production of paper pulp.

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