EPA Approves Oberon’s Dimethyl Ether Alternative Fuel

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved Oberon Fuels Inc.'s biogas-based dimethyl ether (DME) fuel for inclusion under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

As a part of its examination, the EPA determined that biogas-based DME produced from the Oberon process resulted in an approximate 68% reduction in greenhouse gases when compared to baseline diesel fuel, the company says. And now, the heavy-duty transportation industry has another option under the RFS.

‘One of the exciting attributes of DME is that, at its core, DME is a simple fuel,’ says Oberon co-founder and chief operating officer Elliot Hicks. ‘It requires a simple diesel engine and has simple propane-like handling properties.’

In February, ASTM International released a specification (D7901) for DME as a fuel to help guide fuel producers, engine and component suppliers, and infrastructure developers on DME purity, testing, safety and handling.

Volvo Trucks has been among the early proponents of DME use in Class 8 trucking, having partnered with Oberon and Safeway Inc. on the pilot testing of DME in regular fleet operations.

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