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DME Applications

Clean Fuel for Transportation
Clean Fuel for
Cooking & Heating
Clean Fuel for
Power Generation
DME | Clean Fuel for Transportation.  

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DME is one of the most promising alternative automotive fuel solutions among the various ultra clean, renewable, and low-carbon fuels under consideration worldwide. DME can be used as fuel in diesel engines, gasoline engines (30% DME/70% LPG), and gas turbines. Only modest modifications are required to convert a diesel engine to run on DME, and engine and vehicle manufacturers, including Nissan and Volvo, have developed heavy vehicles running on diesel engines fuelled with DME.

As an automotive fuel, when compared with petroleum-derived diesel, DME’s performance demonstrates a number of significant benefits:

  • Ultra low exhaust emissions
  • No particulate matter (PM); very low NOx; no SOx)
  • Low CO2 emissions
  • Low engine noise
  • High fuel economy
  • High well-to-wheel efficiency
  • Thermal efficiency equivalent to diesel engine performance
  • Ignition characteristics equivalent to diesel engine performance

The reduction or elimination of particulate emissions, also commonly known as “soot” or black smoke, is another important benefit. Diesel engines running on 100% DME have demonstrated smoke free combustion, while engines using a DME/diesel fuel blend have demonstrated significant reduction of soot.

A high cetane rating* of 55 – 60 (compared to about 45 for petroleum-derived diesel) and a boiling point of -25ºC provide fast fuel/air mixing, reduced ignition delay, and excellent cold starting properties – two additional key advantages for DME’s use as a fuel.

DME | Clean Fuel for Cooking & Heating.

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Often described as “synthetic LPG”, DME can be blended with LPG (in a proportion of up to 20%) and used for domestic cooking and heating, without modifications to equipment or distribution networks. Growth in DME’s use for domestic applications is expected to increase sharply as DME use and blending becomes more widespread within the large and growing LPG market – especially in developing countries where portable (bottled) fuel is providing a safer, cleaner and more environmentally benign fuel for cooking and heating.


DME | Clean Fuel for Power Generation.

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DME has a performance comparable to natural gas when used for the production of electric power, and it has been approved by manufacturers such as General Electric, Hitachi and Mitsubishi as a fuel for use in their gas turbines. DME is an efficient alternative to other energy sources for medium-sized power plants, especially in isolated or remote locations where it can be difficult to transport natural gas and where the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminals would not be viable.


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