UPM to field test wood-based diesel fuel in urban bus traffic

By UPM Biofuels | October 27, 2015

UPM is to start field tests of its novel wood-based diesel fuel in urban buses together with Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) and the VTT Technical Research Centre. The field tests are also supported by St1, Volvo and Transdev Finland. The new round of tests with UPM BioVerno fuel will start in October and run for a minimum of one year.

UPM BioVerno diesel has previously been studied in several engine and vehicle tests conducted by various research centers as well as in fleet tests, all with excellent results. The studies have shown that UPM BioVerno works exactly like the best quality diesel fuels and reduces tail pipe emissions significantly compared to fossil diesel. 

The heavy duty vehicle field tests will focus on investigating UPM’s renewable diesel in terms of fuel functionality in bus engines, their emissions and fuel consumption compared to fossil diesel. These tests will be operated by Transdev Finland on HSL’s regular bus route between the city of Kerava and Helsinki in Finland. The tests will be done with four identical Volvo Euro VI Class buses that have low emissions and efficient engines.

“The tests will be conducted together with renowned partners,” said Sari Mannonen, sales and marketing director at UPM Biofuels. “We are especially delighted to be able to take part in the Helsinki Region Transport initiative that aims for emission free public transport. One of the major targets of the initiative is to start using 100 percent renewable biofuels in their diesel vehicles in the coming years.”

The bus field tests are also part of a larger “BioPilot” project coordinated by VTT. The goal of this project is to encourage companies to commercialize renewable energy solutions in traffic.

“Advanced, sustainable biofuels are a great opportunity for Finland—they could be our fast track to low-emission traffic,” said Nils-Olof Nylund, research professor at VTT. “When considering cutting traffic emissions both from the technological and economical point of view, Finland should invest in domestic biofuel production in the coming years. VTT has previously tested UPM BioVerno diesel both in passenger cars and bus engines with great results. The new bus field tests continue our long-term collaboration in testing with UPM.”

Both VTT and bus manufacturer Volvo will test all the buses used in the field tests before the start, in the middle and at the end of the testing period. In addition to operating the buses, Transdev Finland is responsible for the follow up of diesel consumption and the kilometers driven. St1 is the distributor of the fuel used in this project—UPM BioVerno has already been sold by St1 filling stations in Finland as part of their Diesel Plus fuel since the spring. 

UPM’s renewable diesel, known as UPM BioVerno, is an innovation that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent when compared with fossil fuels. The latest studies show that UPM BioVerno diesel also reduces tailpipe emissions significantly. This high quality biofuel is produced from residue of the pulp industry, crude tall oil, with no edible materials being used. UPM BioVerno is an ideal fuel for all diesel-powered vehicles.

UPM started the production of wood based renewable diesel in the UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery in January 2015. The production capacity of the biorefinery is 120 million liters (nearly 32 million gallons) of renewable diesel annually. UPM BioVerno has been granted a Finnish Key Flag Symbol. The Symbol can be granted to products that are manufactured in Finland and have a domestic origin degree of more than 50 percent.