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DME: Multi-Use, Multi-Source, Ultra-Low Emission Fuel


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Significant market, commercial, and regulatory developments worldwide are driving interest in DME's introduction as an ultra-clean, renewable, ultra-low emission fuel for a variety of applications. The IDA serves as the global voice for the DME industry, and works to promote the use of DME as a clean alternative fuel worldwide, to gather and communicate authoritative information about DME, and to coordinate relevant international activities and initiatives. The IDA has a global membership of companies, institutions, and individuals at the vanguard of industry developments, representing a wide range of interests within both the upstream and downstream value chains.


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Meet the Experts


Get up to speed on DME's introduction as a fuel directly from those most involved with the strategic and technical aspects of its commercialization in North America and elsewhere - recent features include insights from a heavy-duty diesel engine OEM, refiner, technology provider, and well-known R&D center.


Washington is First U.S. State to Provide Financial Incentives for DME Vehicles

15 July 2015 | Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed into law a transportation investment package providing financial incentives for the purchase of commercial vehicles using a “clean alternative fuel” and that specifies dimethyl ether as one of the alternative fuels that qualify for such benefits.


What the Developing DME Market Means for LPG

A new Strategic Partnership agreement with the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) and involvement by industry representatives in DME initiatives all reflect the growing interest by propane distributors, equipment and infrastructure manufacturers and project developers in the opportunities presented to the propane industry globally by the introduction of DME as a fuel.


ISO Publishes Specification for DME Fuel

15 May 2015 | The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published a specification for DME fuel, marking another important milestone in the introduction of DME as an ultra-low emission fuel for a range of automotive, power, and heating applications.

The standard - ISO 16861:2015 | Specifications of dimethyl ether (DME) - specifies the characteristics of DME used as fuel of which the main component is the DME synthesized from any organic raw material.  ISO 16861 is one of a number of new specifications establishing characteristics and testing methods for DME fuel, providing important benchmarks for DME producers, engine manufacturers, infrastructure developers and others involved in the introduction of DME as a fuel worldwide.


Growing interest by fleet owners and OEMs in the use of DME as a transport fuel reflects DME's promise as a low carbon, ultra-low emissions alternative to diesel.  Produced from abundant and low cost feedstocks such as natural gas, coal, and biomass, few modifications are required to a diesel engine in order to use DME.

Agreement Signed for First Large-Scale DME
Fuel Production in the Americas

13 April 2015 | Trinidad and Tobago's state-owned National Gas Company (NGC) and IDA member Massy Holdings have signed an agreement with Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the construction of the previously announced US$1 billion methanol and DME production complex. Contracts for engineering, procurement, construction and gas supply have also been issued.

The first phase of the project involves a production capacity of 1 million TPY of methanol and 20,000 TPY of DME, making the project the first large-scale DME fuel production facility in the Americas.  Japan's first DME production plant (pictured above) is located in Mitsubishi Gas Chemical's industrial facility in Niigata. The Fuel DME Production Company plant is a joint venture of a number of Japanese companies including the three companies involved in the Trinidad and Tobago project, and has a capacity of 80,000 TPY of DME.


Watch video below to learn more about how DME can be produced from abundant feedstocks and used as an ultra-low emission alternative to diesel


DME Receives Approval for Legal Use as a Vehicle Fuel in California

26 February 2015 | The State of California has approved DME’s use as a vehicle fuel, allowing the retail sale of DME throughout the state. The regulation, Specifications for Dimethyl Ether Used in Compression Ignition Engines, represents another significant milestone that will help accelerate commercial adoption of DME in North America.


Watch video below to learn more about Volvo's pioneering decision to commercialize DME-powered heavy-duty trucks in North America



DME Becomes First Biogas-Based Fuel Approved Under Renewable Fuel Standard

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") has confirmed that DME produced from biogas and other renewable sources using the Oberon Fuels' process qualifies for inclusion under the Renewable Fuel Standard, making the fuel eligible for high value RINS credits under the Clean Air Act.


ASTM Issues Specification for DME Fuel

ASTM International has issued a standard specification for DME for fuel purposes, providing DME producers, engine manufacturers, infrastructure developers and others involved in the introduction of DME as a fuel with an important benchmark on which to base their work.




Volvo Trucks to Commercialize DME-Powered Vehicles for North America

Volvo Trucks became the first manufacturer to announce plans to commercialize DME-powered heavy-duty commercial vehicles in North America. As the latest step in its comprehensive “Blue Power” alternative fuel strategy, Volvo revealed ongoing U.S. customer field testing of trucks powered by DME, and demonstrated the technology after an announcement at the California State Capitol.

DME mirrors the exceptional performance qualities and energy efficiency of diesel, and burns clean without producing any soot. Converting natural gas to DME is an innovative way to address many of the distribution, storage and fueling challenges otherwise presented by natural gas as a heavy truck fuel.

“With the addition of DME-powered vehicles to our previously announced CNG and LNG offering, Volvo’s Blue Power line-up will offer the industry’s most comprehensive approach to the developing North American alternative fuel market,” said Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North American Sales and Marketing.


Mack Trucks Announces DME-Powered Truck Model

Mack Trucks will begin production of DME-powered Mack Pinnacle Axle Back models. The model powered by DME will be equipped with a Mack MP8 engine, offering a 13-liter engine to easily handle heavy workloads.

“The benefits of DME are numerous,” said 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. Mack trucks are built in the U.S.A., and with DME, we’ll be powering our vehicles with a fuel made in America as well.”

“DME is unique in that it is clean, easy to handle, safe to store and will be made domestically, benefiting everyone.” DME can be produced by small-scale production units that convert biogas and natural gas into the fuel. Oberon Fuels' first innovative production unit is in operation in California’s Imperial Valley region.






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