AB Volvo receives support for field test of DME technology for heavy vehicles

The Swedish Energy Agency has granted AB Volvo SEK 12.8 M in support for field testing of the third-generation DME technology for heavy vehicles. The field tests with the 14 trucks is part of a project comprising demonstration of the entire technology chain, from biomass to fuel in the trucks and also includes distribution and tanking stations for DME. The first trucks are scheduled to be placed in traffic at the end of 2009.
image text: Field tests for DME techology
In addition to AB Volvo, Chemrec, Delphi, ETC, Haldor Topsoe, Preem and Total are participating in the project as partners. Chemrec, ETC and Preem are also receiving support from the Energy Agency.

The support now being granted by the Energy Agency supplements the support being sought from the EU’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7), in which contract negotiations are in the final phase.

In June 2006, the Swedish Energy Agency granted AB Volvo SEK 62 M in support for development of third-generation DME technology. It is this technology that will be tested in the field trials. AB Volvo is also investing major funds in the projects.

Volvo’s own studies have shown that DME has potential to become a highly competitive renewable alternative to today’s fossil fuels. DME is characterized by high energy efficiency and very low exhaust emissions, due among other factors to soot-free combustion.  DME is handled as a liquid in pressure vessels, at low pressure, similar to LPG.  DME is produced through gasification of biomass or fossil raw materials. The gas that is formed, synthesis gas, is then catalyzed to produce DME. DME is already used today as propellant gas in spray cans. Since 2004, DME has grown rapidly in the energy sector. In just a few years, China has increased world production of DME tenfold, primarily as household energy.

April 2, 2008

For reporters who want more information, please contact Mårten Wikforss, +46 31 66 11 27 or +46 705 59 11 49