Oberon Fuels, Inc. is partnering with Ford Motor Company and other European companies to build the world’s first dimethyl ether-powered car. This Oberon news release says the 3-year, €3.5 million project will research, analyze and test the potential of DME and oligomethyl ether (OME) fuel in passenger cars and heavy-duty truck engines, and ultimately build the world’s first production passenger car powered by DME for on-road testing.
FVV is a unique worldwide research network of 170 international member companies across the engine supply chain, including researchers, engine manufacturers, component suppliers, and fuel providers. FVV has become the leading forum for pre-competitive joint research projects, for the exchange of knowledge between industry and science, and for training junior researchers for work in the industry.
“We must continue to find ways to meet the growing global demand for liquid transportation fuels with lower-carbon fuels and more efficient, cleaner burning engines if we are to ensure the long term sustainability of our planet,” said Ralf Thee, project manager with FVV. “This is our most ambitious project yet, and we are pleased to be working with partners who share our commitment to innovation.”
DME is a clean-burning, non-toxic fuel that can be derived from renewable sources. Its high cetane number and quiet combustion, as well as its inexpensive propane-like fueling system, make it an excellent diesel alternative for both passenger cars and heavy-duty vehicles. DME-powered engines are expected to benefit from almost soot-free combustion, higher thermal efficiency and excellent cold start properties.
“Ford is committed to helping develop the market for alternative fuels, and DME has exciting characteristics,” said Werner Willems, Ph.D., a technical specialist for powertrain combustion systems with Ford of Europe, and project leader for this initiative. “Not only does DME offer the efficiency and torque desired in a diesel engine, but it can be made from renewable waste streams and reduce the long-term cost of ownership, all of which are important to our customers.”