Mack Trucks Announces Heavy-Duty DME Truck Assessment with New York City

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At a press conference in New York City, Mack Trucks President Dennis Slagle announced that Mack Trucks is partnering with New York City’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY) to explore the use of DME as an alternative fuel in the city’s waste management fleet. The city, which runs the largest municipal sanitation department in the world, will begin assessing DME in a Mack Pinnacle axle back DayCab model equipped with a 13 liter Mack MP8 engine running on DME.

Mack Trucks dominates the North American refuse market, and is the main supplier of heavy-duty trucks to the DSNY, supplying more than 90% of the DSNY’s fleet of 7,000 vehicles. The DSNY already uses some alternative fuel options such as compressed natural gas (CNG). The agency’s commissioner Kathryn Garcia has expressed interest in evaluating cleaner burning options, including DME, which she says is “attractive because it’s very clean and behaves like diesel” when comparing torque and horsepower ratings. The ability to produce DME from a variety of methane sources, including food waste, has been highlighted as another potential benefit. “Trash has value because it can be converted into energy,” Garcia said.

For these reasons, MI member Oberon Fuels has been developing the NYC market for close to 4 years. “NYC along with cities around the world have passed aggressive organic waste recycling programs and bold greenhouse gas reduction targets – the perfect scenario for a clean-burning, low carbon fuel such as DME,” shared Rebecca Boudreaux, Ph.D., President of Oberon Fuels. “We are excited to provide Oberon DME for this demonstration with DSNY, the first customer in the world to demonstrate a Mack DME-powered truck, and continue to build the global DME market with Mack Trucks and our industry partners.”

While some regulatory challenges still exist for DME, the largest hurdles have been overcome.  When Oberon Fuels began nearly 6 years ago, no regulations for DME as a fuel existed in the United States.  It is now legal to use DME as a fuel in all fifty states and Canada, international consensus standards have been published by the ASTM and ISO, and DME made via the Oberon process qualifies for US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Renewable Identification Number (RINs) credits.  More information on DME can be found at the International DME Association’s (IDA) website HERE.

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