In partnership with Schmidt and Swedavia, the Volvo Group is participating in a field test to trial the world’s first biogas-fueled snow sweeper. The vehicle is equipped with two nine-liter Volvo engines fueled by biogas combined with conventional diesel, which may ultimately be replaced by biodiesel, enabling entirely carbon-neutral driving.
The state-owned company Swedavia aims to make all of its 14 airports in Sweden carbon-neutral in terms of upkeep and maintenance. Daily operations involve the deployment of an extensive fleet of machinery comprising Volvo products featuring customized equipment, including snow removal machines that keep the runways clear of snow.
In partnership with the German customer Schmidt, the Volvo Group has developed a snow sweeper that uses Volvo engines fueled by a mixture of compressed methane and diesel.
“We have combined the superior efficiency of a diesel engine with the advantages of biogas. This has resulted in an engine that is significantly more energy-efficient than traditional gas-powered engines in which the biogas combusts in an Otto cycle,” says Inge Horkeby, Director Environmental Affairs AB Volvo.
The test vehicle’s cab unit is the front section of an A25E articulated hauler from Volvo Construction Equipment, equipped with a nine-liter diesel engine converted to gas. In the rear section a similar engine from Volvo Penta is used to power a roller brush and a snow-blower unit that expels the remaining snow at a speed of 130 m/s. While the Volvo Group already has trucks and buses that are powered by biogas, this is the first time that Volvo CE and Volvo Penta are showcasing a product equipped with biogas-powered engines.
Today, the snow sweeper will be handed over to Swedavia at Arlanda Airport Stockholm and shortly thereafter be transported to Kiruna Airport where field tests will be conducted. The vehicle will initially be powered by at least 50% biogas combined with conventional diesel. This can ultimately be replaced by biodiesel without making any technical adjustments, which would make the vehicle entirely carbon-neutral. During the trial period, Volvo will participate in the measurement and review of results.