1 June 2006
After completing long-term tests, Scania now guarantees operating reliability on 100% RME fuel for all its trucks with engines featuring unit injectors. This includes most Scania trucks built during the past eight years—more than 300,000 Scania vehicles can be now fueled with neat biodiesel.
RME (rape methyl ester) is a fuel made from rapeseed oil, the most common biodiesel feedstock in Europe. RME can now be used as a fuel in Scania’s diesel engines without any modifications. Since biodiesel is renewable, its use decreases the net contribution to carbon dioxide emissions.
Compared with diesel, RME fuel has a lower energy content, which in turn means slightly higher fuel consumption and lower engine power output. Scania’s own field and laboratory tests also confirmed that RME has somewhat higher emissions of NOx, while emissions of CO and PM were lower than for diesel.
Since RME has higher viscosity and greater density than diesel fuel, more frequent oil change intervals are required to ensure that the engine oil does not become diluted, said Scania.
As an alternative to running on 100% RME, Scania has previously guaranteed operating reliability with RME blends of up to 5% in regular diesel fuel, which is a generally accepted worldwide industry standard.
The quality of RME fuel is decisive factor for the engine performance and operating reliability. Scania requires that the RME fuel must meet the applicable European standards, EN 14212 for 100% use, or the regular diesel standard EN 590 for the 5% blend.
Widespread use of RME fuel is limited by the resources, as the rapeseed cultivation capacity is insufficient to cover the needs of the transport industry. Therefore, a standardized blend of 5% RME in diesel fuel is at present the most viable prospect from the environmental and economic viewpoints, noted Scania.