The engine performance and fuel consumption of UPM BioVerno receive a resounding thumbs-up from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
A recent battery of tests carried out on passenger vehicles by VTT confirmed that UPM BioVerno offers all the benefits of regular diesel without the same carbon footprint – a result that came as no surprise to Juhani Laurikko, Principal Scientist at VTT, who also carried out the first fleet tests on the renewable diesel.
“The results of both the fuel consumption tests and emission measurements were surprisingly similar compared to regular diesel. There was no noticeable difference in fuel consumption. The cars also performed extremely well.”
Test drivers collected data using four new Volkswagen Golf 1.6.TDIs driving a total of 80,000 kilometres, combining short distances in the city and longer distances outside the city in both summer and winter conditions.
UPM BioVerno diesel matches the performance of regular diesel, but boasts significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions. This is verified by the ISCC EU certificate granted for sustainable raw material sourcing and sustainable production.
Cousin to fossil diesel
VTT’s fleet tests with UPM BioVerno began in May 2013 and ended early in 2014. The tests were performed using a fuel mixture containing 20% UPM BioVerno and 80% regular mineral- oil-based diesel.
“UPM’s renewable diesel has a chemical composition similar to the fossil diesel for which current diesel engines have been designed, so it easily met the requirements set forth in the diesel standard,” Laurikko says.
VTT has been testing new traffic fuels in Finnish conditions since the 1980s.
“The demand for diesel-type fuel will increase in future as diesel vehicles account for a growing proportion of driving mileage. With ship and air traffic hungry for cleaner fuels in the future, the demand for renewable fuels is bound to see a significant increase,” predicts Laurikko.
Buses up next
UPM BioVerno has also been tested by other research institutes such as the independent German research centre FEV.
“FEV works closely with the automotive industry, so it has been easy for us to approach leading car manufacturers following the publication of their test results,” says UPM researcher Ville Vauhkonen.
The testing process will now continue with an extensive round of laboratory tests. VTT will soon commence fleet tests with buses in Helsinki in the near future.
“The aim of the laboratory tests is to gain more detailed information on emissions and fuel consumption. We will test the fuel both as a pure biofuel and using various mixture ratios.
Our primary goal is to harness the results of long-term tests to prove that the fuel cause no harm to engines or fuel systems,” says Vauhkonen, who is in charge of the testing process.
Based on the research and tests performed so far, Vauhkonen is convinced of the high quality and performance of UPM BioVerno.
The next long-term tests will be performed with high ratios of renewable diesel on buses in the Helsinki metropolitan area.