Mack Intends to Produce Heavy-Duty Trucks That Burn Dimethyl Ether

Mack Trucks says it has pegged 2015 as the production start for Pinnacle axle-back heavy-duty trucks that run on dimethyl ether (DME), an alternative fuel that can be produced from feedstocks such as natural gas and biomass.

The Pinnacle models powered by DME will feature Mack's 13-liter MP8 engine, which is suited for various trailer-hauling applications, such as bulk hauling and dump trailers. The compression-ignited DME is stored on board the vehicles in a manner similar to how propane tanks are fitted to vehicles. Notably, DME produces no soot, which means the trucks do not need to incorporate diesel particulate filters.

‘The benefits of DME are numerous,’ says Kevin Flaherty, president of Mack Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. ‘It's better for the environment because it burns clean, and it can be made from sources that are domestically available.’

The DME-powered Pinnacle will join other Mack alternative fuel vehicles, such as the natural gas-powered Pinnacle and TerraPro cab-over and low-entry models.

This is the second major announcement this month related to DME from the heavy-duty trucking sector. Volvo Trucks recently announced that it intends to commercialize DME technology for use in vehicles that use the Volvo D13 engine.

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