After completing long-term tests, Scania, the Swedish manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks and buses, is now guaranteeing operating reliability for 100% biodiesel (B100) for all its trucks with engines featuring unit injectors.
This means that most Scania trucks built during the past eight years—more than 300,000 vehicles—are officially capable of using unblended biodiesel fuels that meet the European standard EN14214 for fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) fuels. Scania tested with rapeseed methyl ester (RME), the prevalent biodiesel fuel in Europe at this point.
Compared with petroleum diesel, RME has a somewhat lower energy content, which in turn means slightly higher fuel consumption and lower engine power output. Scania’s own field and laboratory tests show that RME has somewhat higher emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), while emissions of carbon monoxide and soot particles are lower than for diesel.
The biggest obstacle for RME, according to Scania, appears to be that rapeseed cultivation capacity is insufficient to cover the transport industry’s considerable needs.
Calculations in Europe show that utilization of all land available for rapeseed cultivation within the EU would result in fuel production to meet no more than 10-15 percent of the demand for commercial vehicle fuel requirements.
From the Swedish viewpoint, it is therefore highly positive that the government has set a target for permitting a 3-percent blend of RME in diesel fuel, and in the longer term to increase this to 5 percent, which is standard practice in Europe.—Jonas Hofstedt, Scania’s engine development manager
Since RME has higher viscosity and greater density than diesel fuel, Scania is suggesting more frequent oil-change intervals to ensure that the engine oil does not become diluted.
As an alternative to running on 100-percent RME, Scania had already previously guaranteed operating reliability with RME blends of up to 5 percent in regular diesel fuel meeting the EN590 standard.