Volvo Trucks Testing Methane Gas on Diesel Engines

Swedish truck maker Volvo revealed today it is currently working on a solution that may form a bridge between fossil and renewable fuels, namely diesel engines running on methane gas. The specialists at Volvo Trucks say this is because whatever fuels the engines runs on, the diesel engine is always more energy-efficient.

For example, a gas-powered truck with an internal combustion engine can drive 150-200 km without refueling, while with the same amount of gas in a truck with a methane diesel engine, the range is twice as long.

"We have chosen a route where we combine the diesel engine's superior efficiency rating with the benefits of gas. This gives us a truck that is significantly more energy-efficient than traditional gas trucks,"
Mats Franzen, Manager Engine Strategy and Planning at Volvo Trucks, said in a release.

According to Volvo Trucks, field testing of methane diesel engines will start in Sweden and the UK in 2010. It’s aim is to have its trucks operating on 75% methane gas and 25% diesel in the initial stage.

"A diesel engine has a 30 to 40 percent better efficiency rating than an ordinary spark plug engine running on petrol or an internal combustion engine. The technology is constantly developing. We'll be able to drive 1,000 km on a tank of liquid gas in the near future," added Franzen.

"Our focus on a combination of methane gas and diesel makes it possible to capitalise on all the benefits of a diesel engine, while lowering both costs and emission levels by using methane gas as our main energy source,"
concluded Franzen.
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