[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
SoCalGas, Oberon Fuels partner to produce Dimethyl Ether from natural gas for transportation fuel; first such commercial facility in US
September 01, 2011
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Oberon Fuels, a San Diego-based low-emission alternative fuels company, announced a joint research and development agreement to design and construct the first commercial facility in the United States to produce Dimethyl Ether (DME) from natural gas for use as a transportation fuel.
The planned demonstration facility will use Oberon’s proprietary catalytic technology and process which will mix natural gas with carbon dioxide to produce DME in small-scale, skid-mounted modular units that will produce 3,000 to 6,000 gallons of DME per day.
Study finds adding DME to ethanol/diesel emulsion improves performance and lowers fuel consumption and emissions over emulsion or base diesel
August 01, 2011
|Comparing fuel consumption with diesel, 50D/50E and 50D/50E + 7% DME. Credit: ACS, Ashok 2011. Click to enlarge.|
In a study published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels, M. P. Ashok of Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, India reports that adding dimethyl ether to an ethanol/diesel emulsion results in an increase in brake thermal efficiency and a decrease in specific fuel consumption (SFC), particulate matter, smoke density, and oxides of nitrogen compared to either the emulsion or a base diesel fuel.
Emulsification of diesel with ethanol is one of the possible approaches to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions of pollutants from diesel engines. However, Ashok noted, ethanol addition to diesel results in different physicochemical changes in diesel fuel properties, particularly a reduction in cetane number, viscosity, and heating value. Ashok started the project by first examining the performance of different ethanol/diesel blends: 90D/10E, 80D/20E, 70D/30E, 60D/40E, and 50D/50E, all prepared on the basis of the water-in-oil (W/O)-type emulsion method.
Ashok selected the 50D/50E ratio as the best of the emulsified blends due to its increase in brake thermal efficiency and decrease in specific fuel consumption, smoke density (SD) and PM.
Preem Opens BioDME Filling Station in Stockholm, 5 Volvo DME Trucks Enter Operation as Part of 2-Year BioDME Field Test
September 16, 2010
|Volvo FH with a 13-liter engine that runs on DME. Click to enlarge.|
Swedish oil company and distributor Preem recently inaugurated a BioDME filling station in Stockholm, and the first five Volvo DME (dimethyl ether) trucks (earlier post) in commercial operation have taken to the road in a two-year field test in Sweden. The test aims to demonstrate the potential for large-scale investment in DME produced from biomass.
The project encompasses the entire technical chain from biomass to fuel, i.e. distribution, filling stations, trucks and haulage firms. Volvo Trucks’ contribution to the project consists of FH DME trucks that will be tested by selected customers in different parts of Sweden.