Scania and VSE from Brazil are developing a new generation of engines using alcohol and natural gas

Swedish Energy Agency has decided to grant Scania CV AB SEK 30 million in order to develop jointly with its Brazilian partner VSE (Vale Soluções em Energia) a new generation of alcohol and gas engines.

The goal of the project, which is now receiving support from the Swedish Energy Agency, is to achieve greater energy efficiency than the present day compression engines - but with very low emissions.

"The project comprises the two most important areas for minimising CO2 emissions from the transport area: energy efficiency and the switch from fossil to renewable fuels," says Peter Kasche of the Swedish Energy Agency.

The project thus has two different lines of development. One is more immediate in time and uses the more common Otto engine principle with spark plugs. The Achilles' heel of the Otto engine is low efficiency at partial loading, which will be improved through a variant of the Miller principle, which enables losses to be minimised at lower loads. The other method, which is called PPC (Partly Premixed Combustion), is a further development of the HCCI technique (Homogeneous Charge Compressions Ignition). Development of the PPC technique has not been completed, but has shown great potential during experiments for a very high degree of efficiency and low emissions with the use of ethanol.

Even though the combustion process differs between the two lines of development, the potential to reach high efficiencies and low emissions is good in both cases.

The project is one of many projects that are being granted support within FFI's five sub-programmes: Transport efficiency, Vehicle development, Vehicle & traffic safety, Energy & Environment and Sustainable production technology. The objective of FFI is to minimise the environmental effects of road transport, to minimise the number of traffic injuries and fatalities and to strengthen the Swedish automotive industry's international competitiveness.

About FFI

FFI is the Swedish acronym for Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation, a co-operative programme between the state (the Swedish Energy Agency, VINNOVA and the Swedish Transport Administration) and the automotive industry (Scania CV, AB Volvo, Volvo Cars, Saab Automobile and FKG) to jointly finance research, innovation and development activities with an emphasis on the areas of Climate & Environment as well as Safety. The efforts involve SEK 1 billion annually, of which half are public funds. During 2009, a total of 156 projects were financed.