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Volvo’s Multi-Fuel Car Run on 5 Different Fuels


The Volvo Multi-Fuel is a five-cylinder, 2.0 liter prototype car that runs on five different fuels namely: hythane which is 10% hydrogen and 90% methane, biomethane, natural gas (CNG), bioethanol E85 (85% bioethanol and 15% petrol) and petrol. This concept car was first introduced at the Michelin Challenge Bibedum 2006 and considered to be the only one of its kind.

According to Mats Morén, Project leader Engine at Volvo Car Corporation, the whole car is equipped with top-of-the-line Volvo accessories designed for high performance and perfect for driving on any of the five different fuels. The Multi-Fuel is just as safe as all the other Volvo vehicles plus it is exceptionally clean. He also said that the Multi-Fuel car is the first step towards a hydrogen powered society.

Volvo Car Corporation believes that the road to the future is not one but many and no renewable fuel type can alone replace the fossil fuels of today. And since local conditions vary, different markets need engines for different alternative fuels coupled with cleaner conventional ones. These are the very same considerations of Volvo Car Corporation when it has developed the Multi-Fuel car. The main idea of the Multi-Fuel car is to make use of the locally produced fuels thus reducing the need to import fuel from other countries.

The Multi-Fuel car is equipped with one large and two smaller tanks containing 98 liters of gaseous fuels (hythane, biomethane and CNG), and one 29 liter tank for liquid fuels (bioethanol E85 and petrol). The small gaseous fuel tanks are made of steel while the large tank has a durable, gas tight aluminum liner, reinforced with high performance carbon fiber composite and an exterior layer of hardened fiber-glass composite, according to Morén.

The fuel tanks are placed under the luggage compartment floor thus preserving the full loading capacity of the Multi-Fuel car. The two fuel fillers are used to fill up all five fuel types, one for gaseous and one for liquid fuels. In order to switch between fuel types the driver would simply have to push a button.

The Multi-Fuel car, its engine, tanks, transmission and the fuel system is designed to function on the five different fuels. This means that it can be started directly on gas which is said to be unique for this system. The Multi-Fuel is remarkably clean and meets the emission standards for Euro 4 and the proposed levels for Euro 5. It also has an alternative catalyst system that is developed to meet the tough demands on extremely low tailpipe emissions for PZEV/SULEV on the US market.

The vehicle has two catalysts, one close coupled to the engine that lowers initial start emissions while the one under the floor reduces high-speed emissions. The double catalysts and advanced engine control system lead to very low emissions. High temperature materials in the exhaust and turbo allow extremely high exhaust gas temperatures of up to 1050 °C. This enables the car to run cleaner, accelerate quicker and operate smoother at higher speed.


About the Author: Volvo’s Multi-Fuel is a five-cylinder, 2.0 liter prototype car that runs on five different fuels namely: hythane which is 10% hydrogen and 90% methane, biomethane, natural gas (CNG), bioethanol E85 (85% bioethanol and 15% petrol) and petrol. This concept car was first introduced at the Michelin Challenge Bibedum 2006 and considered to be the only one of its kind.




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