February 2017

Special Focus: Clean Fuels

DME as a diesel alternative in North America

Major trends in the global hydrocarbon processing industry include the regulatory-driven demand for clean, low-emissions fuels. Two decades of global efforts have shown that dimethyl ether (DME) can satisfy these drivers.

Sills, R. A., XTL & DME Institute

Major trends in the global hydrocarbon processing industry include the regulatory-driven demand for clean, low-emissions fuels. Two decades of global efforts have shown that dimethyl ether (DME) can satisfy these drivers.1 DME has been used for many years as an aerosol propellant in cosmetic and other personal and household products, but this represents a small market. DME was first commercialized as a fuel in China as a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) blendstock for the domestic home cooking/heating market. As a result, it now represents about 5% of global methanol demand.2 This article focuses on the challenges—and the significant progress that has been made—of commercializing DME as a die

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