The U.S. EPAhas approved a biogas-based fuel developed by a San Diego company called dimethyl ether (DME) for use in commercial vehicle applications.
Oberon Fuels announced Sept. 3 it had secured approval from the regulator under the Renewable Fuel Standard, and is now eligible for sevearal renewable identification numbers (RINs) under the cellulosic and advanced categories. A RIN is a serial number attached to a batch of biofuel that allows the EPA to track its production and use.
The EPA determined that Oberon's DME biofuel resulted in a 68% reduction in greenhouse gases compared to traditional diesel fuel.
“One of the exciting attributes of DME is that, at its core, DME is a simple fuel,” said Elliot Hicks, Oberon’s co-founder and COO. “It requires a simple diesel engine and has simple propane-like handling properties.”
Growth in the nascent DME industry led to the February announcement of the ASTM D7901 standard from ASTM International that sets parameters for the purity, testing, safety, and handling of the fuel.