Focus: GS III: Science and Technology
Why in News?
Recently, researchers at IIT Kanpur developed a 100% DME-fuelled engine with a mechanical fuel injection system.
Dimethyl Ether (DME)
- Dimethyl Ether (DME) is a synthetic fuel that serves as an alternative to diesel fuel in specially designed compression ignition diesel engines.
- It has gained attention as a viable option for reducing emissions and promoting cleaner energy sources.
Benefits and Usage:
- DME can be produced domestically and has been adopted by several countries, including Japan, USA, China, Sweden, Denmark, and Korea, for powering vehicles.
- When used as a fuel, DME emits significantly lower levels of particulate matter, soot, and smoke compared to conventional diesel, even without the need for expensive exhaust gas treatment systems or advanced engine technologies.
- Its properties make it a promising alternative for India’s agricultural and transportation sectors, where conventional diesel engines are widely used.
Properties of Dimethyl Ether:
- DME possesses a high cetane number, which indicates its ability to ignite easily in compression ignition engines.
- Under normal atmospheric conditions, DME exists as a colorless gas.
Applications of Dimethyl Ether:
- In addition to its use as a fuel, DME finds extensive applications in the chemical industry and as an aerosol propellant.
- It is utilized in various chemical processes and the production of dyes and plastics.