It’s Good News for Oberon Fuels, and for Volvo-Mack
ASTM International has issued a standard for dimethyl ether, a diesel replacement that can be made from organic material.
ASTM D7901 for DME, the organization says, “is for use by manufacturers of dimethyl ether, by engine developers of purpose-built engines, in contracts for the purchase of DME for fuel purposes, and for the guidance of consumers of this type of fuel.”
Firms including Oberon Fuels in California and Volvo Trucks (and its affiliate Mack) see significant advantages over more prevalent alternatives (F&F, June 11, 2013).
Oberon initiated the ASTM approval process in June 2012, according to company president Rebecca Boudreaux. In addition to Volvo, participating organizations included Delphi, BP, Petrobras, Marathon Petroleum, the National Propane Gas Association, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, she told F&F. The new ASTM standard, approved in draft form in mid-December and now fully enacted, covers DME-propane blends.
Low Pressure Tanks
DME can be made from methane-derived landfill gas, sewage or organic waste via a process said to be economical in part because there is no need, as with biomethane production, to remove carbon dioxide.
Like propane autogas, DME can be stored in low-pressure, ambient-temperature tanks – another advantage over CNG or LNG.
Oberon commenced production of fuel-grade dimethyl ether in the summer of 2013. “This DME is being used by Martin Transport [of Texas] in their Volvo truck demonstration,” Boudreaux says.
Contact information is only available to premium subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.
Source: ASTM International with Fleets & Fuels follow-up