From Dirty Waste to Clean Fuel

Haldor Topsoe has developed a technology that converts waste products into the clean fuel DME.

The preferred fuel
In the early 90’s, Topsoe researchers discovered that dimethyl ether (DME ) can be used as a fuel. DME has high energy efficiency with minimal environmental impact. The exhaust from vehicles running on DME is very clean, because the level of soot, NOx and other pollutants is significantly reduced.

The DME plant, Chemrec, in Sweden has been on-stream since June 2010 and is the first large scale pilot plant based on Topsoe technology. This project demonstrates that the technology can convert biomass into DME and covers the entire value chain from the production of DME to fuelling stations and cars running on DME. Car manufacturers have tested DME, and Volvo Trucks has already named DME “the preferred fuel”.

Replacing petrol and diesel
It is estimated that DME produced from Swedish black liquor alone can replace 25% of all petrol and diesel consumption in Sweden. Additionally, Topsoe’s technology also converts other non-edible renewable biomass products such as residual products from forestry and agriculture and household waste into DME – the potential is extensive.

Highly competitive
DME represents a highly competitive alternative to fossil fuels. DME can also be used for heating, cooking, and electricity production.

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Haldor Topsoe
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Svend Ravn
+45 45 27 20 00


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