Volvo Trucks field-tests liquefied gas

Oct. 25, 2010
Volvo Trucks will initiate public field testing with methane diesel trucks that can run on liquefied methane gas. At the same time, Sweden’s first filling station for liquefied methane gas will open at Stigs Center in Göteborg.

Volvo Trucks will initiate public field testing with methane diesel trucks that can run on liquefied methane gas. At the same time, Sweden’s first filling station for liquefied methane gas will open at Stigs Center in Göteborg.

Trucks running on liquid gas combined with methane diesel technology have up to four times longer driving range than most traditional gas trucks.

Three Volvo FM trucks with 13-liter engines are being field-tested. The technology is based on Volvo’s Euro 5 diesel engine, which has been converted for gas operation.

The field test trucks are equipped with special tanks for liquefied methane gas. When liquid methane and diesel are used in a ratio of 75–25, a truck performing long-haul or intercity duties has an operating range 500 to 1000 km, depending on driving conditions. This is twice the operating range of methane diesel vehicles running on compressed gas and four times that of gas trucks with Otto engines.

The field-test vehicles are being operated by transport companies DHL, Götene Kyltransporter, and Renova. The start of the field tests coincides with the inauguration of Sweden’s first public filling station for liquefied methane gas at Stigs Center in Göteborg. The station is a collaborative project by Volvo Trucks, Fordonsgas Sverige, and Göteborg Energi.

Filling stations have previously only existed for CNG (compressed natural gas). If methane gas is cooled to –160° C instead of being compressed, it becomes liquid and its volume is reduced by half. In this case, it is called LNG (liquefied natural gas), or LBG (liquefied biogas) if it is a biogas. Both these gases are also called LMG (liquefied methane gas).

Three filling stations for liquefied methane gas have been planned in Sweden to date. Besides the completed one in Göteborg, Aga will open a filling station in Stockholm, and Eon will open one in Malmö. Volvo Trucks is a partner in all the projects. There are plans to build additional stations if demand increases.

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