Mack Trucks, part of the Volvo Group, will begin production of dimethyl ether (DME)-powered MACK Pinnacle Axle Back models in 2015. Volvo Trucks had announced earlier this month that it would commercialize dimethyl ether (DME)-powered heavy-duty commercial vehicles in North America, with limited production beginning in 2015. (Earlier post.)
The Pinnacle Axle Back model powered by DME will be equipped with a MACK MP8 engine, offering a 13-liter engine. The Pinnacle Axle Back model is suited for highway van trailer applications, bulk hauling, flatbed and dump trailer jobs.
DME offers diesel-quality performance with a high cetane number and low auto-ignition temperature, but burns cleanly without producing any soot. DME can be made from North America’s plentiful domestic natural gas supply, food waste, animal waste, grass clippings and other sustainable sources. DME can provide up to a 95% CO2 reduction compared with diesel when produced from biomass or biogas.
DME can be produced by small-scale production units that convert biogas and natural gas into the fuel. Oberon Fuels recently announced their first innovative production unit will go online this month in California’s Imperial Valley region.
Mack’s DME-powered Pinnacle model will join an alternative fuel lineup that includes the natural gas-powered MACK TerraPro Cabover and Low Entry models and the natural gas-powered Mack Pinnacle, which made its debut during the 2013 Mid-America Trucking Show. Mack also plans to launch a natural gas-powered MACK Granite.