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DME (dimethyl ether) is a clean-burning, non-toxic, potentially renewable fuel. Its high cetane value (55-60) and quiet combustion, as well as its inexpensive fueling system, make it an excellent, inexpensive diesel alternative that will meet strict emissions standards.

DME has been used for decades as an energy source in China, Japan, Korea, Egypt, and Brazil, and it can be produced domestically from a variety of feedstocks, including biogas from organic waste produced in cities or by agricultural operations, as well as natural gas. Ideal uses in North America are in the transportation, agriculture, and construction industries. DME can be made from a range of options that can make it extremely competitive if not significantly more affordable than traditional diesel.

DME is a gas under ambient conditions. However, because it can be stored as a liquid under moderate pressure, it eliminates the need for the high-pressure containers used for CNG or cryogenics, as in the case of LNG. DME’s easy handling properties make fueling and infrastructure relatively simple and inexpensive.

DME is approved as a renewable fuel under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuels Standard, making it eligible for RINs credits when made from biogas with the Oberon process. DME has also been issued specifications by ASTM International and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Oberon Fuels is dedicated to developing integrated DME supply chains around the globe by coordinating closely with fleet managers, equipment manufacturers, and feedstock suppliers. Together, we are working toward the day when every city has DME production facilities providing fleets with clean, high-performing fuel.

Learn more about Oberon’s process.

For further information on DME, please visit:
The International DME Association (IDA)
The US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center

Key Benefits of DME

Diesel-Like Performance
  • Simpler engine results in lower maintenance costs
  • No spark plug required
  • Compression ignited, resulting in higher efficiency
  • No spark plugs
Clean-Burning
  • Burns with no particulate matter
  • Sulfur-free
  • Easier to control NOx
  • Meets or exceeds strict emissions standards
Safe
  • Non-toxic
  • Safe, rapid, low pressure dispensing
  • Spillage will not contaminate soil
Cost-Competitive
  • Price competitive with that of diesel
  • Due to DME’s simplicity, lower or competitive total cost of ownership with diesel vehicles