09.2022 - 01.2023

Feasibility study on the production of regenerative dimethyl ether (rDME)

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), a mixture of propane and butane, is used in a variety of applications as an energy source for heating, propulsion or process energy. Since LPG is already in a liquid state at room temperature at low pressure, it is easy to transport compared to other gaseous energy sources. Relatively narrow ignition limits also ensure a high degree of safety with manageable preventive safety measures. Against the background of the goal of climate neutrality by 2045, however, it is important to switch to non-fossil alternatives for LPG. A promising alternative is regenerative dimethyl ether (rDME), which has similar physical properties to LPG and can therefore be used in existing LPG infrastructure with little or no modification.


Together with the Tyczka Group, a feasibility study was conducted on the production and use of rDME as a possible substitute for LPG. Different production routes of rDME were examined with regard to their technological maturity and other technical and economic criteria. Subsequently, economic, regulatory and technical aspects of a possible use of rDME in the sectors heat and mobility were considered and possible market opportunities for rDME were determined.

Step 1:

Regenerative DME can be produced both on the basis of biomass or waste and synthetically on the basis of green hydrogen and captured CO2 using different processes. These have been described in profiles with regard to technical and economic criteria.

Synfuels, rDME, production
Figure 1: Possible production routes for rDME

Step 2:

Economic, technological, political, legal, environmental and social factors were analysed for a selected production route and possible applications in the sectors heat and mobility. This made it possible to create as holistic a picture as possible of the production and application of rDME.

Step 3:

On the basis of the economic and technological factors worked out beforehand, plants of different sizes were described in further detail. In this way, the amount of input materials required could be quantified and the necessary investment and production costs estimated.

Step 4:

In the last step, the results of the previous work steps were summarised in the form of a SWOT analysis, distinguishing between technological strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities and threats arising from the market and regulatory framework.

Project Partners

Tyczka Group