Nissan Diesel and Volvo Jointly to Develop Medium-Duty Trucks and to Study Hybrid Systems and Alternative Fuels

Nissan Diesel and AB Volvo will jointly develop medium-duty trucks for worldwide sales. The joint effort expects to combine the Japanese truckmaker’s strength in smaller trucks with the Swedish expertise in manufacturing heavy-duty models. The companies will also conduct a joint study on advanced technologies such as hybrid engines, alternative... Read more →


Methanex Enters DME Partnership in China

Methanex and China’s XinAo Group have entered into a long-term arrangement under which Methanex will, beginning in late 2007, supply an initial quantity of approximately 300,000 tonnes per annum of methanol to XinAo. This methanol will be used in a new 200,000-tonne dimethyl ether (DME) production facility that XinAo is... Read more →


China Launches Major Dimethyl Ether-to-Olefin Project

Another major use for crude oil aside from transportation fuels is as the feedstock for the production of olefins (alkenes). Olefins include ethylene and propylene, and are the primary building blocks for products such as polyethylene (LDPE, HDPE, LLDPE), polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), ethylene glycol, and SBR/PBR rubber. China is... Read more →


China to Start Construction of Largest Yet Coal to Dimethyl Ether Project

Xinhua. China is to begin construction of the largest dimethyl ether (DME) project yet with an annual output of 3 million tons. China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has banned any coal-based DME project with a design capacity lower than one million tons. The country’s current annual output is... Read more →


World Bank Supports Chinese Coal to Dimethyl Ether Project

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, signed a financing package for China’s Xinao Group to support a coal-to-liquids project. IFC is investing in a Xinao subsidiary—Xinneng Chemical—by buying shares worth up to $10 million and granting a $40 million loan for the... Read more →


China to Support Development of Dimethyl Ether as Diesel Alternative

China’s first dimethyl ether bus, made by Shanghai Jiaotong University. Xinhua. The Chinese government will support the development of dimethyl ether (DME), a gas derived from coal, as a possible alternative to diesel. A circular from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said standards for the use of DME... Read more →


AB Volvo to Develop Third-Generation DME Engines for Heavy Vehicles

Volvo DME truck. The Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten) has awarded AB Volvo a 62.2-million kroner (US$8.4-million) grant to support the technical development of a third-generation DME engine for heavy vehicles during the period 2006-2010. The project’s goal is to deliver technology for a major field test with 30 third-generation DME-powered... Read more →


Shanghai Company Starts DME Production as Trial for Transportation

China’s first dimethyl ether bus, made by Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Shanghai Daily. A Shanghai, China, chemical company has started producing dimethyl ether (DME) as an alternative fuel for transit buses in the city. Shanghai Coking & Chemical Corp, a unit of Shanghai Huayi Group, put its 5,000-tonne-per-year dimethyl ether... Read more →


Volvo Buys 13% of Nissan Diesel

AB Volvo acquired 40 million common shares, corresponding to 13%, in the Japanese truck manufacturer Nissan Diesel from Nissan Motor, with an option to acquire the remaining 6% of the shares from Nissan Motor within four years. The purchase price is approximately SEK billion 1.5 (US$195 million). The transaction strengthens... Read more →


DME Comes to DC in a Truck Beating EPA 2010 Emissions Requirements

Nissan Diesel’s DME demo truck. The Japan International Transport Institute and the National Traffic Safety and Environment Laboratory are hosting a half-day conference in Washington, DC, on the development and promotion of environmentally-friendly heavy-duty vehicles—with a specific emphasis on DME (dimethyl ether). Not well-known as a fuel alternative in the... Read more →


Report: Forest Waste Could Provide 50% of Maine’s Energy Needs

Biomass-derived fuels could meet 50% of Maine’s needs. The Fractionation Development Center (FDC), a Maine non-profit group, has released a plan detailing how the state could turn its vast quantities of forest waste into a range of biofuels and chemicals, providing up to 50% of the state’s annual energy needs.... Read more →


Toyo Engineering to Design and Build Coal-to-DME Plant in China

DME is a component of China’s vision for coal utilization. Japan’s Toyo Engineering will design and build China’s first major coal-to-dimethyl ether (DME) with China’s Ningxia Coal Group in northwestern China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. DME can serve as a synthetic fuel that is to diesel what LPG is to... Read more →


Largest-Yet DME-Powered Diesel Cuts Emissions

The DME-fueled generator JFE Engineering Corp., Daihatsu Diesel Mfg. and Iwatani International Corp. announced the development of a low-pollution generator system powered by a diesel engine that runs on dimethyl ether (DME)—the largest such engine to date powered by the synthetic fuel. (Topic.) DME is to diesel what LPG is... Read more →


Shanghai Auto Displays Range of Alternative and Hybrid Vehicle Technologies

SAIC at the Expo. Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) put on display at the 2005 Shanghai International Industrial Expo some of its accelerating R&D work in alternative and efficient vehicles, including a prototype of the hybrid Touran under development with its partner Volkswagen. (Earlier post.) . Exhibits included alternative fuel engines (dimethyl... Read more →


France’s Total and Japanese Consortium Working Toward Volume DME Production by 2010

AFP. French oil company Total is working with a consortium of nine Japanese companies on a $250-million dimethyl ether (DME) pilot project with a goal of volume production by 2010. DME is an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas)-like synthetic fuel that is produced through gasification of various renewable substances or fossil... Read more →


Volvo Introduces DME-Powered Truck

The Volvo Group has unveiled its first truck equipped with a DME (dimethyl ether) engine. This represents Volvo’s second-generation heavy-duty DME vehicle. Volvo Truck Corporation and Volvo Bus Corporation built an earlier (1996–1998) prototype DME bus for testing and demonstration of the low-emissions and high-efficiency capabilities of the fuel. The... Read more →


Rockefeller Invests in Chinese Synthetic Fuel Company

AFX. The Rockefeller family is taking a $100 million stake (31%) in China’s Shandong Jiutai Chemical Co, and teaming up on the construction of a $677-million (5.6 bln yuan) dimethyl ether (DME) production facility. DME is a clean-burning, synthetic substitute for diesel. (Earlier post.) The new project, with an annual... Read more →


New Dimethyl Ether Plant for Japanese Market

Oil Search, Papua New Guinea’s biggest oil and gas producer, has signed a deal with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical and Itochu Corp to begin preparing a $US500 million ($640 million) plant to supply dimethyl ether—a clean-burning synthetic substitute for diesel—to Japan. (Earlier post on DME here.) The planned plant, near Port... Read more →


DME Advances: Road Trials in Japan

Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Science and Technology (AIST) and eight private companies have applied for a permit to test mid- and large-size trucks using Dimethyl Ether (DME) fuel, a clean burning synthetic fuel that can substitute for conventional diesel, liquified petroleum gas (LPG) or be reformed into hydrogen for... Read more →


New DME Plant In Iran Will Triple Global Production

Zagros Petrochemical, a subsidiary of the Iranian National Oil Company, is building a new DME (Dimethyl Ether) plant with a capacity of 800,000 metric Tons Per Year (MTPY) of DME at Bandar Assaluyeh, Iran. Zagros is using technology and catalysts developed by Haldor Topsøe A/S of Denmark in collaboration with... Read more →