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The Process

Oberon Fuels has developed proprietary skid-mounted, small-scale production units that convert methane and carbon dioxide to DME from various feedstocks, such as biogas from dairy manure and food waste. This small-scale process circumvents the financial, infrastructure, and permitting challenges that large-scale projects confront. Oberon units have the capacity to produce 10,000 gallons of DME per day to service regional fuel markets.

Dimethyl ether (DME) production process

Facilities

Fueling station for DME-powered Mack® Pinnacle™ demonstration at the NYC Department of Sanitation. © Ron Jautz 2017

Fueling station for a DME-powered Mack® Pinnacle™ demonstration at the NYC Department of Sanitation. © Ron Jautz 2017

Oberon Fuels uses two standard production units to produce DME fuel for its partners. Utilizing the same core process, units vary depending on the feedstock used. These modular, high-efficiency production units make it easy for Oberon Fuels to provide fleets with DME fuel:

  1. Small footprints allow a wide range of biogas sources to produce DME
  2. Rapid deployment can easily accommodate growing vehicle fleets.
  3. Prefabricated modules simplify access to fugitive methane emissions
  4. Standardized construction leads to low capital costs and faster returns

Units in detail:

BG-10 BNG-10
Output 100% BioDME Partial BioDME
10,000 gallons/day 10,000 gallons/day
FeedStock Biogas with up to 50% CO2 content Biogas with up to 50% CO2
1,540,000 standard cubic feet per day (72% CH4 / 28% CO2) 900,000 standard cubic feet per day (72% CH4/28% CO2)
Pipeline natural gas
470,000 standard cubic feet/day
Footprint 40,000 square feet 40,000 square feet

DME Production Plant

Oberon Fuels’ pilot DME production plant is located in Brawley, California, 2 hours east of San Diego. In 2013, this facility came online and produced the first fuel-grade DME in North America, which has since been used by Volvo Trucks, Mack Trucks, and Ford for global vehicle demonstrations.

This facility is currently being upgraded from pilot to demonstration scale due to a 2019 grant from the California Energy Commission and is slated to produce the first renewable DME in the US as part of this project.

Oberon Fuels is working with partners across the supply chain to provide Oberon DME to trucking fleets and cities around the world as part of an efficient, sustainable transportation infrastructure.

These partnerships are designed to:
  1. Supply trucking fleets with a high performing fuel at a competitive price.
  2. Provide biogas and natural gas sources with steady offtake opportunities.
  3. Efficiently recycle local waste streams into energy while improving air quality.
If you are interested in using DME as a fuel, or have feedstock that you would like to convert, contact us to find out how Oberon’s technology can benefit you.