DME truck testing back on in NYC

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Updated Dec 5, 2016

dsny-logoNew York City’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY) expects this week to start testing a truck fueled by dimethyl ether (DME) following a delay earlier this summer brought on by the city’s fire department.

DSNY had planned to begin testing DME, a clean-burning biofuel, in an MP8-equipped Mack truck in July. However, at the time, the New York City Fire Department was not familiar with the fuel and had not yet approved of its use.

DSNY Fleet Supervisor Spiro Kattan told Hard Working Trucks that both a truck and the clean-burning fuel are expected to be ready for testing this week. DME producer Oberon, based in San Diego, is providing the fuel.

“Oberon informed DSNY that the DME dispenser and tractor would be ready for field trial the second week in December.  We are very excited!” Kattan said.

DSNY Deputy Commissioner Rocco DiRico told Hard Working Trucks that he and Kattan have already test-driven a truck equipped to run on DME in Texas. They were especially impressed that no emissions components were required on the truck’s engine, given the fuel’s exceptional exhaust characteristics.

“The truck that I drove in Texas performed flawlessly,” DiRico said. “It’s very simple. I opened the hood—Spiro and I—and it was like looking at a 1962 Chevy—there’s nothing on there, there’s no hang-ons, no after-treatments.

“It’s a very simplified version of what we know today. And it had the torque, the horsepower and the driveability that we so need.”

DSNY also plans on testing renewable diesel. However, Kattan explained that since the fuel is a new commodity they’re “still waiting for a procurement contract to be put in place.”