After a press event held by parent company Volvo earlier this month that focused on dimethyl ether, Mack Trucks has announced that in 2015 it will begin producing Pinnacle Axle Back models that are powered by the alternative fuel, also known as DME.
DME is a clean-burning fuel that is non-toxic. Plus, it can be made from multiple sustainable feedstocks including: natural gas, food waste, animal waste, grass clippings and other sustainable sources. DME can be produced by small-scale production units that convert biogas and natural into the fuel.
Of course the most important aspect of the fuel to many prospective truck buyers is whether or not it performs as well as diesel. Mack says DME “has the same performance and energy efficiency as diesel. The fuel is compression-ignited, is handled and stored similar to propane and does not need cryogenic temperatures or high tank pressures.”
And Mack says it could have immediate positive environmental impact, noting that when made from biomass or biogass, DME can provide up to a 95 percent CO2 reduction compared with diesel.
A 13-liter Mack MP8 engine will power the DME Pinnacle Axle Back, a model suited for highway van trailer applications, bulk hauling, flatbed and dump trailer jobs.
In the announcement, Mack also noted its plans to launch a natural gas-powered Mack Granite.