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Japanese Companies Form Joint Venture for Dimethyl Ether Production

Nine major Japanese companies, including Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Itochu, and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. (JPE), are establishing a joint venture company for the production of dimethyl ether (DME) for use as a synthetic, next-generation fuel.

The joint venture, Fuel DME Production Co., will build a DME production plant within Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company’s Niigata Factory (Niigata-shi). Initial capacity will be 80,000 tonnes per year, expandable to 100,000 tonnes per year. Operation is scheduled to begin in June 2008.

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical will own 29.15% of the venture; Itochu, 13.25%; and JPE, 12%. The other partners and their respective shares are: Taiyo Oil Co. (10%); Total Di-Methyl Ether Japan Ltd. (10%); Toyota Tsusho Corp. (10%); JGC Corp. (5.3%); Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (5.3%); and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (5%).

The Japanese government has flagged DME promotion as an important element in its Basic Energy Plan, and is supporting technology developments for DME production and application, as is China.

JGC is in charge of the construction of the new production plant, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical will handle plant operations.

Most DME is produced via a two-stage process that converts syngas (from a variety of feedstocks) to methanol, and then dehydrates that to produce DME. Some companies—Total among them—are working on a more efficient, one-step process for the direct synthesis of DME from syngas. The first Fuel DME Production plant will use the methanol process.




Can DME be blended with bio-diesel?

Paul Dietz

Can DME be blended with bio-diesel?

DME has to be stored under moderate pressure. Its boiling point at standard pressure is -25 C.


What is the route of synthesis?

If it utilizes petrochemical precursors, then what is the point???

Paul Dietz

It's made from syngas (either directly or indirectly via methanol). This can be made from fossil fuel, or from biomass, or (in principle) from CO2 and hydrogen.

laila gaber




Cheryl Ho

There are developments in DME in China today:
China is already most advanced in commercial use of DME as a mixture with LPG. China is mainly interested in DME production from their own coal resources as national policy. South Korea is also interested in DME. As KOGAS is predominant in handling gas in South Korea , MOU for market study in South Korea has been signed between TOTAL and KOGAS quite recently. Their interest of DME is for LPG market as well as fuel for diesel trucks.

If you would like to know more on the latest DME developments, join us at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:

DME productivity can be much higher especially if
country energy policies makes an effort comparable to
that invested in increasing supply.
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
will be sharing their experience.

Advances in conversion technologies are readily
available and offer exciting potential of DME as a
chemical feedstock
By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
that DME/ Methanol can play a large energy supply role
By: International Finance Corporation

For more information: www.iceorganiser.com

Anil Kumar De

My company (NIPCO plc) in Nigeria has constructed 3 nos of Horton Spheres, each of capacity 1400 T for storage of LPG. However, even after 6 months' of wait we are not able to source LPG for utilisation of the facilities. The facilities created are adjacent to a Jetty with proper unloading facilities from the ships at Apapa near Lagos.
Can we use these Horton Spheres for storage of DME?
Where from we can purchase DME on commercial terms from the International market?
Shall be grateful for your reply.
A K De
+234 80 57 00 20 20.

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