Oil Palm Dimethyl Ether as Fuel of the Future
Dimethyl Ether (DME) has been getting much attention as it`s potential as the next generation bio-fuel.
Dimethyl Ether (DME) has been getting much attention as it`s potential as the next generation bio-fuel. A part from being able to replace diesel fuel, DME could also replace Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). In Indonesia, due to the abundance of oil palm waste, it is a good candidate to be used as a feedstock for DME production. For that reason, PT Green Globe Energies is interested to develop DME as fuel. “This is a sustainable energy that is cheaper than LPG or diesel fuel. It is also easy to produce in Indonesia since we have a lot of raw materials,” Shaukat Ally the owner of PT Green Globe Energies said at “2nd Indonesia Energy Efficiency and Conservation Conference & Exhibition (IICCE) 2018” di Balai Kartini, Jakarta, Tuesday (18/09/2018). Shaukat believes the use of DME could reduce country’s LPG and diesel fuel import. According to him, Indonesia has imported 5.7 million tons LPG and 6 million tons diesel fuel every year. “The use of DME could save foreign-exchange reserves more than US$10 billion, equivalent to Rp150 trillion, per year. DME is fuel of the future since it is a clean energy that produce low emission. It is also a sustainable energy in terms of raw materials. Indonesia has various raw material for DME, including coals, palm oil biomass, and natural gas. A research on DME has also been done by a team from Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) funded by the Indonesian Oil Palm Estate Fund (BPDPKS). Researchers Herri Susanto, Aisyah Ardy, Yuono, Sunu Pranolo, Jaya Lingga Prasetyo from the Institute for Research and Community Services (LPPM) of ITB has conducted research on conversion of solid oil palm waste into methane and DME using gasification process. Gasification is a thermochemical conversion of an organic material into a valuable gaseous product, called syngas. Some sample units of oil palm stem gasification technology that were combined with diesel-engined generator has applied in Riau. These units are expected to produce 100 kilowatts electricity to supply near villages. ***