Project Code: 17116
Project Title: Production and Cost Analysis of Dimethyl Ether for Transportation
Project Type: Faculty
Project Intellectual Property: University Controlled
Project Citizenship Restriction: No
Sponsor Company: UA Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Description: Project goal: To design an economically feasible process to produce dimethyl ether for transportation fuel. When dimethyl ether burns it produces virtually zero particulates and it has been suggested as a possible fuel for slightly modified diesel engines. The process designed feeds methanol through a catalytic reactor to create dimethyl ether, with water as a byproduct. A side-reaction from the catalyst produces methyl formate. Recycling the water produced by the reaction for various on-site uses will help save money and reduce the environmental impact of the process. Methyl formate has various industrial uses,as a blowing agent for foams or as an agricultural pesticide, for example. The economical production of dimethyl ether as a transportation fuel could have significant environmental benefits.