The energy authorities in Sweden have now granted AB Volvo £ 4.5m, for the development of a third-generation DME engine for heavy vehicles.
The project will deliver automotive technology for a major field test with DME-powered trucks planned for the years 2009 and 2010. AB Volvo is also investing a large but as yet unspecified amount, in the project.
A small field test will be initiated in under a year’s time with trucks based on the second-generation DME technology, which was presented in 2005.
Volvo says that its studies have shown that DME has potential to become a competitive alternative to today’s fossil fuels.
DME is a fuel that becomes a liquid at relatively low pressure. It is commonly used today as a propellant gas in spray cans and is produced through gasification of various renewable substance or fossil fuels. The synthetic gas that is formed is then catalyzed to produce DME.