Ecomotive Solutions, a company based in Serralunga di Crea (in Piedmont, Italy) active in the production and distribution of components and systems for sustainable mobility, has successfully completed the experimentation of dimethyl ether or DME as an alternative fuel to replace traditional diesel for power a heavy vehicle, in this specific case an Iveco Eurocargo.
L’iniziativa è stata condotta in collaborazione con la prestigiosa Università Technion di Haifa (Israele).
The initiative was conducted in collaboration with the prestigious Technion University of Haifa (Israel). “Since its birth”, explain the experts of the Piedmontese company, “Ecomotive Solutions, the Holdim group, has promoted concrete, available and economic solutions for truly sustainable mobility: an approach that has never changed in these over ten years of activity, which definitely aims to the enhancement of existing resources without having to hastily set them aside in favor of new proposals that are more onerous and complex to implement”.
The DME, also known by the name of dimethyl ether, can be obtained from methanol dehydration processes or with direct production from syngas, both of which can be produced from biomass: this aspect “elevates” it to the rank of renewable fuel.
Ecomotive Solutions: dimethyl ether instead of diesel
Dimethyl ether can be liquefied with low pressures (like LPG) making it easily transportable, but its most interesting feature lies in its high cetane number (indicator of the behavior of fuels in the ignition phase) which makes it a valid substitute for diesel in diesel engines, which can be adapted to the use of the DME with non-invasive modifications. Diesel engines that use DME have better environmental performance: they emit less Nox, particulate matter and CO2.
The solution, suitable for heavy-duty road transport (a subject on which the company had already developed methane solutions), is applicable to all diesel engines (and in the future also in blending with LPG), modifying the engine in some of its parts, in a minimally invasive way.The experimentation concluded with the Technion Haifa University is only the first step taken by Ecomotive Solutions, which is now developing a 100% dedicated engine for DME, as well as retrofit applications for diesel engines for special and industrial engines.