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

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

DME is a high cetane fuel that provides the torque and efficiency required of heavy-duty trucking fleets. DME compression-ignition engines come with lower maintenance costs and reduced requirements for aftertreatment equipment, lowering the lifetime cost of operating the vehicles for fleet operators. These advantages, including Oberon’s ability to use locally available bio-wastes to manufacture DME, make this fuel ideal in a number of commercial settings:

Alternative Fuel for Urban or Regional Closed-Loop

Oberon Fuels handles all production and delivery for its partners, making a predictable supply of DME as simple as signing a fuel contract.

DME can be centrally produced by Oberon Fuels and delivered to customers as needed on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Therefore, early adopters would be fleets involved in local and regional hauls that drive into and out of the same terminal daily and refuel at this base site.

Importantly, capital expenditures are in sync with market growth. As the market develops, more small-scale production units will be deployed by Oberon in each region, and new regions will be added across the country. Eventually, a national infrastructure will service long-haul applications.

High Performing, Easy to Handle
Our DME (Dimethyl ether) fuel has a cetane number of 55
DME is an excellent substitute for diesel in the trucking industry because of its high cetane number (55) and because it does not require spark plugs, high pressure, or cryogenics like CNG and LNG. A DME fuel system requires different fuel injectors (allow higher flow), fuel pump, and fuel storage tank but is not inherently expensive. No high pressure or cryogenic tanks are required, drastically reducing the vehicle cost. Additionally, DME is easy to handle and store.

Oberon has partnered with Volvo and Mack Trucks, both divisions of The Volvo Group, to bring the next generation of DME-powered, heavy-duty trucks to fleet operators around the globe.

Cities and Government

As cities around the world grow, they are looking for ways to maintain an efficient transportation infrastructure that also meets environmental standards. By providing a fuel alternative to the heavy trucking industry, Oberon Fuels offers cities and governments a new way to improve air quality and the health of their citizens, reduce the costs of managing their waste streams, and more efficiently transport goods that thriving cities need.

Reduced Waste Costs

DME fuel can be made from a variety of locally available waste streams with Oberon’s production units. Any waste that can be converted to biogas is a potential feedstock for the Oberon process, allowing cities to generate their own fuel while also reducing the need to ship waste long distances for disposal.

Improved Air Quality & Health

DME comes with a 68-101% reduction* in greenhouse gas emissions over diesel, depending on the feedstock used. DME also produces zero particulate matter, zero sulfur oxides, and extremely low nitrogen oxide levels. Reducing these emissions from a city’s heavy trucking sector can lead to direct improvements in human health, better water quality, and clearer skies.

Oberon is working closely with cities in the United States and around the world that are looking to improve the quality of life for their citizens by integrating DME fuel into their transportation and waste management systems.

*Compared to diesel, based on renewable bio-based feedstock, see EPA’s analysis of Oberon’s DME for the Renewable Fuel Standard and this SAE Technical Paper on DME GREET Analysis.

Passenger Vehicles

Many of the same advantages DME offers the trucking industry can also be attractive in a passenger car, offering consumers a high-performing, efficient, clean-burning fuel:

Easy to Use

DME vehicles operate quieter, cleaner and with lower overall costs than diesel, making the fuel an ideal fit for many passenger cars.

DME’s safe and simple handling qualities make refilling vehicles easy and fast.  And since DME can be transported with existing infrastructure, it is easier to build refueling stations and make the fuel available to drivers.

Easy to Manufacture

DME engines are very similar to diesel engines, but since DME burns clean they do not require the same costly filters and and other pollution control systems. This means DME vehicles can sell at comparable or lower prices than similarly equipped diesels as they come into large-scale production.

Oberon Fuels has partnered with Ford and FVV, a worldwide research network of engine manufacturers, suppliers and scientists, to test and build the world’s first DME-powered passenger car for on-road testing.  The first demonstration car will be based on the Ford Mondeo (also called the Ford Fusion in the US), bringing DME’s benefits to the driving public.

The following infographic from Ford’s announcement details how DME produced from sustainable feedstocks can power cleaner passenger cars.