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Korea Gas to build 300,000 tpy DME plant; one-step process

Korea Gas Technology Corporation (KOGAS) has contracted Unitel Technologies, Inc. to prepare the basic engineering and design package for a plant that will make 300,000 tons of dimethyl-ether (DME) per year (tpy).

The KOGAS DME Project Team is led by Dr. Wonjun Cho who notes that the KOGAS one-step process includes several proprietary technology developments—a novel catalyst, an oxyblown auto-thermal tri-reformer for making synthesis gas, fixed bed boiling water DME reactors, and a special method for the cryogenic separation of the reaction products.

The basic engineering and design work for the KOGAS one-step demo unit was also provided by Unitel Technologies.

The ‘one step’ DME process has proven to be very elusive for many years. However, we are convinced that KOGAS has successfully overcome the hurdles that have long constrained this industry.

We have operated a ‘one step’ 10 tons per day demo unit for the last three years, and the results are very encouraging. The ‘one step’ method needs only a single reactor for the synthesis of DME, and alleviates the thermodynamic limitations of producing the methanol that is made in the ‘two step’ process.

—Dr. Cho

DME is a one-to-one substitute and additive for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It is also a direct replacement for diesel, with the added advantage that DME is 100% clean in terms of sulfur, soot and particulates, and the exhaust is approximately 50% lower in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. According to General Electric, DME is an excellent fuel for stationary gas turbines.



Nothing in the press release mentions the raw material. It makes no sense to convert e.g. natural gas to DME for a stationary gas turbine when you have the natural gas.

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