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MOTOREX Magazine 2022 122 EN

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  • Dimethyl
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WHAT’S NEW CONTINUED WHAT IS DIMETHYL ETHER (DME)? Dimethyl ether is already familiar to many people from other applications. It has been used for years as a non- CFC propellant gas in spray cans, for example. DME is also produced in large quantities as an intermediate product in the chemical industry and can be made economically from methanol with practically no loss. Methanol can be produced from fossil-based raw materials, from biomass or from CO 2 and water with the use of electricity. It is produced using a catalytic/chemical process. The result is a clean, highly flammable gas which, like CNG or LPG, can be liquefied under pressure (6 bar at 25° C) and then transported and stored at that pressure. DME/RDME PRODUCTION BIOMASS BIO ELEC- TRICITY GASIFICATION OR ELECTROLYSIS NATURAL GAS METHANOL rMETHANOL SYNTHESIS DME rDME DME = dimethyl ether rDME = dimethyl ether from renewable energy (simplified diagram) HOW DOES DME PERFORM IN AN ENGINE? Since July 2020 a test engine converted to run on pure DME has been running on the test bench in the EMPA research project. Since, unlike diesel fuel, DME has no lubricating properties, a new oil-lubricated common rail injection pump had to be developed. Valves and valve seats have also been replaced with ones made of DMEcompatible materials. Likewise, the combustion chambers and the compression ratio have been redesigned and recalculated. An electric compressor is used for precise exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), which helps significantly reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. © EMPA (This article is not intended to be comprehensive.) The DME testing engine was built at EMPA on the basis of a diesel commercial vehicle engine. 8

WHAT DOES DME MEAN FOR MOTOR OIL? The MOTOREX R&D department has been given the challenge of developing a motor oil suitable for DMEfueled engines. It is known that motor oil can have a major impact on fuel consumption and emissions. The decisive factors here are evaporative behavior, ash content, and elements such as sulfur and phosphorus which are critical for exhaust gas treatment systems. At the same time, the oil is expected to help reduce fuel consumption through low viscosity while countering any risks of wear with high-quality additives. Based on the oil analyses from test bench operation and regular sharing of information, a promising motor oil prototype has been introduced. This newly-developed low-lubricity motor oil is currently being field-tested in DME-fueled vehicles. Oil samples from the EMPA test engine are regularly analyzed at MOTOREX to assess the effects of DME. WILL DME REDUCE CO 2 EMISSIONS? CO 2 EMISSIONS BY ENERGY SOURCE * 100 g CO2 eq./MJ 0 Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85% Considering the net energy value of DME or rDME while taking the mostly reusable infrastructure it requires into account, dimethyl ether displays an exemplary sustainability profile. Its potential to reduce greenhouse gases by up to 85 % is especially impressive. Moreover, DME combustion produces no soot, no sulfur, and significantly less nitrogen oxides and particles. As such, rDME/DME could play a valuable role in cutting CO 2 emissions and greenhouse gases. • DIESEL HEATING OIL LPG rDME © SHV Energy * References: Diesel/heating oil, LPG and rDME: M. Prussi, M. Yugo , L. De Prada, M. Padella, R. Edwards and L. Lonza, JEC WEll-to-Tank report v5, EUR 30269 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxemburg, 2020, ISBN 978-92-76-19926-7 (online), doi: 10.2760/959137 (online), JRC119036. The first truck equipped with an DME engine will be on the road shortly. It will be part of MOTOREX’s truck fleet for Switzerland. MOTOREX MAGAZINE 122 I JANUARY 2022 9



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