Feb. 01, 2011
Iran has achieved the knowledge of converting methanol to dimethyl ether (DME) as a clean fuel and suitable alternative to gas oil production, head of the Petrochemical Research and Technology Company, Gholamreza Joukar said.
Jokar said that the company has held talks with Zagross Petrochemical Complex, as one of the largest methanol producers of the country for the construction of an 800-thousand-ton unit for converting methanol to dimethyl ether, Shana reported.
The company has also offered the plan for construction of DME units to three other companies. It includes a 100-thousand-ton unit in Yazd Province and a 400-thousand-ton unit in Assalouyeh, the onshore installations of the South Pars giant gas field in the Persian Gulf, he added.
China plans to meet 85 percent of its vehicles fuel through dimethyl ether in next few years, Jokar noted.
"Since DME is a clean fuel and a suitable alternative to gas oil, we have decided to add it to the fuel basket of the country through cooperation with the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIOPDC).
According to the official, the product is sulfur free and is considered as an environment-friendly fuel.
Jokar noted that regarding the country’s high methanol production capacity, it is possible to convert the product to dimethyl ether.
The largest use of dimethyl ether is as a substitute for propane in LPG used as fuel in household and industry.
Unlike other alkyl ethers, it resists autoxidation. Dimethyl ether is also relatively non-toxic, although it is highly flammable.