Volvo’s big on BioDME

| 9/21/2009

Swedish truck maker Volvo is expanding its testing of what the company thinks will become the next big thing in biofuel. It’s called dimethyl ether or DME, and in the Volvo truck project it’s made from byproducts of the papermaking process.

According to Volvo, the fuel burns soot-free, produces almost no greenhouse gases, cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 95 percent, and is cost-effective and energy efficient.

Land Line Magazine’s Senior Technical Editor Paul Abelson agrees it’s a promising fuel and says truckers who use it “won’t notice the difference between DME and regular diesel.”

Abelson says the potential downside of DME is that it would require larger, pressurized fuel tanks and possibly special dispensing equipment at the pump.

Volvo Trucks says DME has the potential to replace 50 percent of the diesel fuel that is presently in use in Europe.

– By Reed Black, staff reporter