Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) on the environmental impact linked to the use of Dimethyl ether (DME)

The Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) has focused the environmental impact linked to the use of Dimethyl ether (DME) as an alternative fuel for heavy-duty vehicles. The method, which is used in this project, is Life Cycle Assessment according to ISO 14040, which is used to investigate and calculate the environmental impact of a product or system over its whole lifetime. The LCA includes "Well to Wheel" data for DME and Fisher Tropsch Diesel (FTD). Methanol is included on "Well to Tank" basis.

The main conclusions are the following:

- DME from natural gas has the highest energy efficiency.
- DME from biomass gives the best potentials for CO2 reductions.
- FTD from natural gas has slightly higher energy efficiency than DME from biomass.
- FTD plants have a multiple output of products. This leads to even lower energy efficiency since a large portion of the output cannot be used in the energy efficient diesel driveline.
- According to EPS the environmental impact of both fossil and bio fuels are strongly linked to use of resources.

The main recommendations are:
- In order to use limited energy resources in the best way DME are to be preferred compared to MeOH and FTD.
- In order to decrease CO2 emissions from heavy duty vehicles in the most efficient way, DME should be chosen as fuel when produced via energy source gasification.

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Reported by

VOLVO Powertrain Corporation
DEPT 91511, BC2
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