Oberon Fuels has started production of the first-ever renewable dimethyl ether (rDME) in the US that will help to cost-effectively store and transport renewable hydrogen, the company says.
This new DME will help unlock Oberon’s ability to reduce emissions from transportation today while also accelerating the development of the hydrogen economy and a net-zero carbon future.
Renewable DME has multiple pathways to reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation sector: as a diesel replacement, as a blend with propane and as an energy-dense, cost-effective way to move renewable hydrogen.
rDME can help overcome some of the biggest barriers inhibiting the widespread use of hydrogen for transportation fuel, including access to renewable feedstocks, modular and scalable production whilst also providing energy-dense, cost-effective storage and transportation.
Once the rDME has been delivered, it can then be converted into renewable hydrogen at the point of use.
DME is a hydrogen-rich molecule that handles like propane or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and can be produced at or near renewable feedstock sources using Oberon’s modular production technology.
This approach to renewable hydrogen production promises similarities to the influence that distributed, rooftop solar has had on decentralising industrial power generation.
Michael Stivala, President and CEO of Suburban Propane Partners, said, “The fact that we can use today’s propane infrastructure to move such a hydrogen-rich molecule that can become the hydrogen fuel of the future is both exciting and critical to our efforts to be innovative in achieving the goals of lowering carbon emissions.”
Bipin Patel, Vice-President of Engineering at Oberon Fuels, said, “By achieving this important milestone, we can turn our focus to getting rDME in the hands of customers to reduce the carbon intensity of propane and diesel fuels.
“More importantly, we will be able to leapfrog today’s energy-intense, fossil-driven approaches to renewable hydrogen production from a variety of wastes and other renewable sources to further deliver on our mission of decarbonising transportation.”
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