Tuesday, October 27, 2009

South Korean interest in DME continues to grow

WWW.BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: Above and beyond the Asian DME Conference held in Seoul in September, two recent news items indicate that South Korean government and private interest in DME/Blue Fuel and its applications continues to grow.

The first story, which appeared in the Korean language Maeil Business Newspaper and was reported by Reuters in their daily press digest on Oct 21, said that the South Korean government is "working on commercialising dimethylether fuel, which is 20-30 percent cheaper than liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), by December, according to the Knowledge Economy Ministry."

The second story, also reported by both Maeil and Reuters, this time on Oct 20, said that "South Korea's state-run Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) will invest about 400 billion won ($344.9 million) to build an energy plant in Saudi Arabia, the company said on Wednesday."

Reuters also reported that, "Earlier in the day, the Maeil Business Newspaper cited sources at the economy ministry and KOGAS as saying that the company would sign a preliminary deal with the Saudi Arabian government on Nov. 2 for the plant in Jubail, which would have an annual capacity of 300,000 tonnes of dimethylether (DME) from 2013."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Japan's DME Vehicle Promotion Committee wins DME Clean Fuel Achievement Award

WWW.BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: During a special ceremony held during the 6th Asian DME Conference in Seoul, South Korea in September, 2009, Japan's DME Vehicle Promotion Committee (DMEVPC) was awarded the annual DME Clean Fuel Achievement Award.

Known as "The DME Award" and presented by the International DME Association, this award "recognizes companies, organizations, and individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to the development and commercialization of dimethyl ether as a clean fuel source.

The award was presented by IDA Executive Director, Christopher Kidder and was accepted on behalf of the DME Vehicle Promotion Committee by DMEVPC Chair Yasuhiko Mikita and Secretary-General Ryoji Wakasa. As stated on their website, the 2009-2010 objectives for the DMEVPC are:
  • To comply with a new subsidy plan by Japan's MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) and put forward a 2009 proposal for new project allowing DME trucks to operate commercially.
  • Demonstration of DME Trucks in a commercial transport operation covering the full production chain for DME fuel, including manufacturing, distribution, and relevant infrastructure for DME vehicles in Japan's Niigata region.
  • To support newly built DME (4 tons) trucks built by Isuzu for commercial use in 2009 and to introduce DME trucks to the transportation industry and general users.
  • To continue commerical operations using existing DME trucks (like those manufactured by Nissan Diesel) after MLITT’s subsidies ceased in Dec. 2008.
  • To support technical improvement of DME filling speed/measurement and development of low-priced sealing materials suitable for DME piping/storage tanks.
  • The advancement of deregulation reform on DME infrastructure in line with that of LPG.

Last year's winner of the DME Clean Fuel Achievement Awardwas China's ENN Group .

Friday, October 16, 2009

Alternative Fuel Technology develops revolutionary DME fuel pump

WWW.BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: On September 24, 2009 Alternative Fuel Technology announced that they have designed and successfully demonstrated a revolutionary new DME fuel pump. To read their media release, please click here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

DME rebounding as alternative to diesel for trucks and cars

WWW.BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: An article in the newsletter Fleet Owner (written for executives and managers of commercial-trucking fleets) posted in the News section of the International Dimethyl Ether Association website speaks of a growing interest in the use of DME as a transportation fuel.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Volvo Trucks takes next step in Bio-DME future

WWW.BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: Following on from our last blog post regarding developments by the gasification technology company, Chemrec, Volvo Trucks made a recent announcement regarding their involvement with Bio-DME. We find their press release most encouraging and include excerpts from it here.

“Volvo Trucks is now taking the next concrete step towards carbon dioxide-neutral road transport. Within the framework of a broad-based joint project, field tests are being conducted with 14 trucks running on Bio-DME – a fuel that combines a low environmental imprint with high energy efficiency.

In August 2007, Volvo Group unveiled seven demo trucks from Volvo Trucks each running on a different type of biofuel, one of which was DME (Di-Methyl-Ether). This initiative demonstrates Volvo has the technical solutions for running an efficient diesel engine on virtually all existing renewable fuels.

Today, in a joint project including the EU, the Swedish Energy Agency, fuel companies, and the transport industry, Volvo Trucks is investigating the potential for large-scale investment in DME produced from biomass, a fuel known as Bio-DME.

Volvo Trucks is participating in the project by contributing 14 Volvo FH trucks that will be tested by selected customers at four locations in different parts of Sweden between 2010 and 2012. The first field-test truck is being shown today in Piteå, where the production of Bio-DME will take place in Chemrec's plant. The Volvo Group, of which Volvo Trucks is a part, is a co-owner of Chemrec via its subsidiary, Volvo Technology Transfer.

From a facility beside the Smurfit Kappa Kraftliner pulp plant, the project will produce four tonnes of Bio-DME per day. The raw material used is black liquor, an energy-rich, highly viscous by-product of the pulp industry. Through gasification of the biomass in the black liquor, what emerges is a particularly clean and energy-efficient fuel. The plant is being inaugurated today by the King of Sweden, renowned for his keen interest in environmental issues.

"From the holistic viewpoint, Bio-DME is one of the most promising second-generation biofuels. Bio-DME provides both high energy efficiency and low emissions of greenhouse gases. We value these two properties particularly highly as we analyse various possible alternative fuels," says Lars Mårtensson, environmental affairs director at Volvo Trucks.

Compared with a conventional engine, Bio-DME as a fuel in diesel engines provides the same high efficiency rating but also a lower noise level. In comparison with diesel fuel, Bio-DME generates 95 percent lower carbon dioxide emissions. What's more, the combustion process produces very low emissions of particulates and nitrogen oxides. All this makes Bio-DME an ideal fuel for diesel engines.

The field test gets under way in 2010 and encompasses the entire technological chain from biomass to fuel in trucks, in other words including distribution and filling stations. Fuel company Preem will build filling stations so the trucks can be used in regular regional and local operations. The other companies involved in the project are Chemrec, Delphi, ETC, Haldor Topsoe and Total who are contributing as partners.

Inspections and evaluations of the fuel, truck technology, customer perceptions and distribution system will provide answers as to whether Bio-DME may emerge as one of the fuels that can partially reduce dependence on diesel oil.

The project will continue for a specific period and its evaluation as well as the long-term decisions of the authorities will determine whether full-scale industrial production will become reality. The challenges facing new fuels lie primarily in taking a long-term view, producing sufficiently large quantities of biofuels, and handling distribution via a suitably large number of filling stations.

"The field test will give us valuable new insight into the potential of Bio-DME as a future vehicle fuel. The project still requires many tests, larger-scale fuel production and an extended infrastructure. And, perhaps most of all, clear guidelines from the authorities on how they view the fuel," says Volvo Trucks' President and CEO, Staffan Jufors.”

Click here to see a video about Volvo Trucks and Bio-DME.

Friday, October 2, 2009

BioDME production generously supported in Sweden

WWW.BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: In a September 28 release in the Latest News section of its website, gasification technology company Chemrec announced a SEK 500 million (US$73 million) investment grant to Domsjo Fabriker to build an industrial scale, renewable motor fuels BioDME and Biomethanol demonstration plant based on Chemrec technology. Click here to read the full release.