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Dimethyl Ether price index

This post is a summary of the Dimethyl ether price developments. The price developments ofDimethyl ether are expressed in US$ prices converted FX rates applicable at the time when the price was valid. Dimethyl ether price index developments are calculated from multiple separate sources of data to ensure statistical accuracy.

The outlook for Dimethyl ether prices, on the second tab, is generated from different inputs including:

  • Very recent price developments of immediate cost drivers of Dimethyl ether prices
  • Recent price developments of underlying feedstocks which drive the price of Dimethyl ether
  • Market futures for both cost drives and feedstocks of Dimethyl ether prices
  • Adjustment of current supply/demand imbalances in the Dimethyl ether market
  • Longer term trends in likely demand conditions

Further information on the Dimethyl Ether price index

Here is some further information

 

What is Dimethyl ether

Dimethyl ether (DME) is a chemical compound with the formula CH3OCH3. It is a colorless, flammable gas that is often used as a fuel or solvent. DME is a clean-burning, low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and natural gas, and it has a high octane number, which makes it suitable for use in internal combustion engines.

DME can be produced from a variety of feedstocks, including natural gas, coal, and biomass. It can also be produced from methanol, which is itself produced from natural gas, coal, or biomass. DME has a number of attractive properties, including low toxicity, low volatility, and a high cetane number, which makes it an efficient fuel for diesel engines.

In addition to its use as a fuel, DME is also used as a solvent in a variety of applications, including the production of pharmaceuticals and personal care products. It is also used as a refrigerant in refrigeration systems, and as a blowing agent in the production of foams.

 

How is Dimethyl ether produced

There are several ways to produce Dimethyl ether (DME), including:

From natural gas

DME can be produced from natural gas through a process called steam methane reforming (SMR). In this process, natural gas is combined with steam and exposed to high temperatures and pressures in the presence of a catalyst. This reaction produces a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which is then converted to DME through a process called gas-shift.

From coal

DME can also be produced from coal through a process called coal gasification. In this process, coal is exposed to high temperatures and pressures in the presence of oxygen, steam, and a catalyst. This reaction produces a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and other gases, which can then be converted to DME through a process similar to the one used in the production of DME from natural gas.

From biomass

DME can also be produced from biomass, such as wood, straw, or agricultural waste, through a process called pyrolysis. In this process, the biomass is exposed to high temperatures in the absence of oxygen, producing a mixture of gases and liquids, including DME.

From methanol

DME can also be produced from methanol through a process called dehydration. In this process, methanol is exposed to high temperatures and pressures in the presence of a catalyst, which causes the water molecules in the methanol to be removed, producing DME.

Regardless of the feedstock used, the production of DME typically involves several steps, including the conversion of the feedstock to a synthesis gas (a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide), the conversion of the synthesis gas to DME through a process called gas-shift, and the purification and separation of the DME from other gases.

 

What is DME used for

Dimethyl ether (DME) is a versatile chemical compound that has a number of uses, including:

Fuel

DME is a clean-burning, low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and natural gas, and it has a high octane number, which makes it suitable for use in internal combustion engines. It is often used as a fuel for vehicles, such as buses, trucks, and forklifts, and it can also be used as a replacement for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in residential and commercial applications.

Solvent

DME is used as a solvent in a variety of applications, including the production of pharmaceuticals and personal care products. It is also used as a solvent in the production of resins, plastics, and other chemicals.

Refrigerant

DME is used as a refrigerant in refrigeration systems, and it has a number of attractive properties for this use, including low toxicity, low volatility, and a high refrigeration capacity.

Blowing agent

DME is used as a blowing agent in the production of foams, such as polyurethane foam, due to its ability to produce high-quality foams with low density and good insulation properties.

Aerosol propellant

DME is used as an aerosol propellant in a variety of products, including hairsprays, deodorants, and other personal care products. It is also used as a blowing agent in the production of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam and other foamed plastics.

 

Further reading

 

Market and trade information on DME

The global Dimethyl ether (DME) market is a significant and growing industry. According to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), global DME production was estimated to be around 20 million metric tons in 2020. The majority of global DME production is used as a fuel, particularly in China, where it is used as a replacement for coal in power generation and as a transportation fuel.

DME is also used in a variety of other applications, including as a solvent, refrigerant, blowing agent, and aerosol propellant. The demand for DME is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, driven by factors such as increasing concerns about air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, the growing demand for clean-burning fuels, and the increasing use of DME in emerging economies.

According to https://oec.world/ :

Aromatic ethers, derivatives are the world’s 2049th most traded product.

In 2020, the top exporters of Aromatic ethers, derivatives were China ($324M), Germany ($270M), India ($91.1M), Japan ($61.7M), and Spain ($21.4M).

In 2020, the top importers of Aromatic ethers, derivatives were Chinese Taipei ($153M), China ($125M), United States ($87M), South Korea ($78.6M), and Japan ($57.6M).

 

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Notes on the price-data

  • We are continually improving our data collection and processing methods and data will be updated from time to time as we improve the accuracy
  • We are working hard to upgrade the algorithm before April 1, 2023 and a further fine-tune by July 1, 2023
  • This the index trend of the price of the product group in general and not a single specification in particular
  • The data is presented in US$
  • The chart shows the price trend,  nearly always taken from many statistically-correlated sources