Log trucks powered by wood
Volvo has been field testing vehicles powered by bio-DME, a fuel produced from biomass. 10 specially adapted Volvo trucks have been operating on Swedish roads. They look like conventional trucks and travel the same speed, but are powered by bio-DME, a fuel produced from biomass. These fuels are totally renewable, and reduce carbon emissions by 95% compared to diesel. The tests have reached their halfway stage and the results are looking good.
Bio-DME, which is a dimethyl ether produced from biomass, is a liquid, and is produced from wood or by-products, and waste from agricultural production. Predictions have been made that bio-DME could replace up to 50% of the diesel currently being consumed by commercial vehicles in Europe within the next 20 years. The bio-DME being used in the trials is produced from black liquor, a by-product from the production of pulp.
The black liquor is first converted to a gas using pure oxygen, and thereby producing syngas, a gas that can be synthesised. The gas is then washed and converted into bio-DME. The pulp mill would have traditionally burnt the black liquor to produce power and steam, but the mills are compensated by being supplied logging residues.
After 40,000 km of driving per truck, the drivers are all very satisfied with the trucks performances. For more information click here
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