UPM BioVerno road tests produced good results, as expected. Production of the wood-based fuel will begin in Lappeenranta this autumn.
UPM's biorefinery project took a major step forwards as road tests of the UPM BioVerno diesel were completed at the beginning of the year. The tests showed that the second generation renewable diesel developed by UPM works just as well as regular diesel. The big difference is that the innovative diesel significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels.
Numbers behind the UPM BioVerno road tests
"The results of the UPM BioVerno diesel road tests were similar to the results of the previous engine and vehicle tests. UPM BioVerno is fit for use", summarises UPM researcher Ville Vauhkonen who is responsible for the vehicle testing.
The road tests that began in May 2013 were performed by experienced drivers from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The test cars included four new Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDIs. Two of the cars ran on a fuel blend that included 20% UPM BioVerno and 80% fossil diesel. Regular diesel was used in two of the cars for comparison purposes. Before the BioVerno road tests, VTT researchers measured the fuel consumption and exhaust gas emissions of the cars in laboratory conditions.
The engines of the UPM BioVerno road test cars worked excellently
Twenty experienced test drivers from VTT participated in the UPM BioVerno diesel road tests and kept a meticulous log of the distance driven, routes taken, outdoor temperature and when they refuelled. "The goal was to keep the test drives of the four cars as similar as possible. Test drives were performed in varying conditions: we drove short distances in the city and longer distances outside the city in both summer and winter weather", says Juhani Laurikko, Principal Scientist from VTT.
After the test drives, the fuel consumption and exhaust gas emission measurements were repeated. "The engines of the test cars worked excellently in all conditions", Laurikko says.
UPM and VTT will continue UPM BioVerno road tests
UPM and VTT will continue road testing on buses in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. In addition to performing the road tests, VTT is testing how UPM BioVerno affects the different parts of a car fuel system. Parts made of metal, plastic, rubber and silicone will be exposed to the renewable diesel for several months in laboratory conditions. "The purpose of the UPM BioVerno diesel road tests is to ensure that the fuel does not have adverse effects on other materials, such as the rubber gaskets," Laurikko says.