Finnish biofuel company UPM has announced the successful completion of several lab and on road tests on its UPM BioVerno diesel. The company is reporting the tests showed that their renewable wood-based diesel fuel performs as well as traditional diesel fuels. Lab tests were conducted in the VTT Technical Research Centre (VTT) and the on road tests were performed in bus traffic in the Helsinki region in conjunction with the Helsinki Region Transport (HSL). The field tests, supported by Transdev Findland Oy, Volvo and St1, spanned one year and the results were calculated by VTT.
The first set of lab tests were done with Euro III Class buses and UPM says its UPM BioVerno diesel produced lower emissions than fossil-based diesel. When compared to other advanced fuels, the renewable diesel’s emissions demonstrated equal emission reductions.
“The use of UPM BioVerno diesel in the current bus fleet instead of fossil diesel would lower emissions from public transport significantly. This is good news as this Finnish wood-based fuel could immediately – and positively – affect the air quality in the Helsinki region,” said Sari Mannonen, vice president of UPM Biofuels.
On-road tests with the buses were conducted by Transdev Finland using a regular bus route between the cities of Kerava and Helsinki using Volvo Euro VI Class buses. These vehicles are manufactured to have lower emissions and more efficient engines. The tests used blends of 20 percent, 50 percent and 100 percent UPM BioVerno diesel, and were conducted by St1. The results showed that UPM BioVerno diesel worked well across all blends with consistent fuel consumption of traditional diesel fuel. In total, the buses traveled nearly 400,000 km with no fuel-related incidents.
“We are happy with the test results – they show that UPM BioVerno could fully replace fossil diesel in current bus traffic. Biofuels have a significant role in our company’s targets, as we are aiming for carbon-free public transportation in the Helsinki region,” said Reijo Mäkinen, head of the Traffic Services department in HSL.
The latest set of tests were part of a larger BioPilot project overseen by VTT to encourage companies to commercialize the use of renewable fuels in vehicles.