(Blog, Ville Vauhkonen, 21 January 2016) - A few months ago, we reached yet another milestone in the UPM BioVerno story as our road tests achieved a total of 20,000 kilometres in road traffic with the UPM BioVerno diesel produced in the Lappeenranta biorefinery. The fuel blend used in the tests included 20 % UPM BioVerno and 80 % traditional diesel. The same distance was also driven by the four test cars in VTT's UPM BioVerno road tests a couple of years ago.
The 20,000 kilometres comprised commuting and trips to several events organised by UPM and other partners around Finland. Driving was swift and straightforward throughout the test period. After the required kilometre total was reached, I drove my test car to VTT's research centre in Otaniemi for monitoring. The team at VTT recorded the same measurements (fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions) as before I started the test on 30 April 2015. The results replicated the previous test conclusions: A 20 % UPM BioVerno blend works just as effectively as traditional diesel fuel. It is also notable that the decline in tailpipe emissions proved to be identical to the previous UPM BioVerno test drives.
Before the final results, we decided to increase the proportion of UPM BioVerno in the fuel blend. And, as we are often asked whether it is possible to use 100 % UPM BioVerno diesel in your car, we decided to do just that.
First of all, I drove the test car's fuel tank almost empty and then filled it up with 100% pure renewable UPM BioVerno diesel. Being the first person to fill the fuel tank made me slightly nervous, as this would be the first time that anybody had used pure UPM BioVerno diesel in road traffic. I was about to do something that the world had never seen before - and that's something that you don't get to say very often!
Given that I was making history, I wanted to do it together with my children. So I filled up the tank with UPM BioVerno and picked up my kids. They were a little confused when I told them that they would soon become a small part of Finnish history. It was funny to see my children, aged 5, 7 and 9, with exactly the same enthusiastic grin on their faces as their 37-year-old dad!
As we all know, our generation and the ones before are responsible for the climate issues we face today, and these issues are our legacy to future generations. In my adult life, I have always strived to get to a situation in which I could give my children and the next generations some solutions to these problems. I believe that reliable, low-emission traffic fuels are part of this solution.
One night just before Christmas, I was picking up my son from his friend's house, and on the drive home I noticed that the odometer was soon going to hit 6000 kilometres. I mentioned this to my son and said that we were about to take a once-in-a-lifetime photograph of the occasion (below). He replied that he was very nervous about whether the photo would turn out well. And so was I!
For four years, I have had the privilege to be part of the UPM BioVerno story. I have been involved in various engine, vehicle and laboratory tests to ensure that the product works impeccably. I have been able to observe engine and vehicle testing on UPM BioVerno all over Finland and Europe. After the testing phase, I visited countries all around Europe, and even on the other side of the world, to present the product and its positive test results to other experts. In addition to all that, I was the first person to use our pure product, Finnish UPM BioVerno diesel, in road traffic.
I have often wondered about the memories I will leave for my future grandchildren. I have been the first in world to drive with pure UPM BioVerno in road traffic and have now driven over 6000 kilometres – and the journey continues. This is the memory I want to leave for my grandchildren.