By Megan Greenwalt, Waste 360.
San Diego-based Oberon Fuels has been developing a new alternative fuel for the heavy duty trucking industry. Called dimethyl ether (DME), the fuel is clean-burning and non-toxic with diesel-like performance and handling properties similar to that of propane. As the first company to produce fuel-grade DME in North America, Oberon is hoping to bring this fuel, made from natural gas or biogas, to the solid waste hauling market.
With no commercial or passenger vehicles with DME-capable engines and no network of fueling stations, Oberon, led by President Rebecca Boudreaux, has developed partnerships with automakers Volvo and Ford to develop DME engines, and has led the certification process for the fuel with the EPA, state of California, Department of Energy and ASTM.