Scania has been granted SEK 30 million -- about $4.43 million -- by Sweden's Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation Initiative to develop a biofuel engine for heavy commercial vehicles.

This research will show how the best characteristics of the diesel and the Otto principle can be combined in an engine that can operate on both alcohol- and gaseous methane-based fuels.

Scania will focus on developing an engine using sustainable biofuels that will combine the high energy efficiency of diesel (compression ignition) technology with the more efficient exhaust aftertreatment system of Otto (spark ignition) technology.

"Such an engine will be optimal in responding to the challenge of achieving low emissions of greenhouse gases, combined with reduced emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and particulates," says Jonas Hofstedt, senior vice president, Powertrain Development.

Scania has been granted funding for the phase of its research project that involves the development of innovative technology for both alcohol- and methane gas-based fuels. This research includes systems for premixed combustion and ignition of fuel, gas exchange systems, optimised valve performance, exhaust gas recirculation and the use of advanced catalyst technology for efficient exhaust aftertreatment.

Scania is working with experts in combustion and emission technology at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Lund University and Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The project is part of a bilateral arrangement between Sweden and Brazil in which Scania has been engaged for some time in environmental collaboration with Vale Soluções em Energia S.A. (VSE) on the further development of ethanol- and gas-fueled industrial engines.