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Dimethyl ether (DME) can be a diesel substitute. Only moderate modifications are needed to convert a diesel engine to burn DME. It is also used as a low-temperature solvent and extraction agent.
DME from Methanol
2 CH3OH --> H2O + CH3OCH3
DME can be created in two steps with the creation of methanol across ZnO and CuO, then its dehydration to DME in the presence of Al2O3.
DME can also be synthesized in a single step which is typically a combination of both catalysts, ZnO/CuO and Al2O3. When the synthesis of methanol and methanol dehydration happen in the same step, an interesting third reaction interaction happens: the water-gas shift.
- TruckingInfo.com: "Volvo Thinks the Fuel of the Future is DME – and It’s Almost Here"
- International DME Association: "About DME"
- article: Synthesis of dimethyl ether (DME) from methanol over solid-acid catalysts
- GEK Wiki: Dimethyl Ether (DME)