AsianScientist (Oct. 17, 2013) – A six million dollar Australia-India partnership project will focus on improving processes involved in the production of a clean-burning synthetic fuel, dimethyl ether (DME), which is a fuel produced from natural gas.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia and its Indian equivalent, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), say the partnership could provide a solution to a number of energy concerns and ultimately reduce the reliance of both countries on imported fuels.
“There are over half a million vehicles currently using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Australia – all of which could be powered using DME. The fact that DME can be used as a blend in existing LPG engines makes it an effective transitional fuel,” said CSIRO’s research group leader, Dr. Nick Burke.
“Australia’s heavy reliance on diesel could also be lessened with the added possibility of DME being able to replace diesel in the future,” said Burke.
The research will also assist in the development of small plants that may be suitable in remote and rural areas.
“More efficient processing of gas into transportable fuels at remote locations would make Australia and India’s remote gas reserves more economically viable,” said professor Suresh Bhargava from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
The three-year project is being jointly funded by the Australian and Indian governments, through the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF).
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