DTU's dimethyl ether-fuelled car powers to victory in Shell Eco-marathon  

2007.05.15
The Technical University of Denmark's entry in the UrbanConcept class wins three category awards at the 2007 Shell European Eco-marathon in Nogaro, France
As reported previously on this website, a research team at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has built an internal combustion engine designed to run on dimethyl ether (DME), a compression-ignition fuel which can be produced from biomass and which is significantly more environmentally friendly than conventional diesel.
 
Last weekend at Shell's annual European Eco-marathon, the DME engine emphatically showed its potential by powering DTU's prototype car to victory in the UrbanConcept competition, which required the competing vehicles to stop and start three times during 14 circuits of the Nogaro track. Not only did the car achieve the highest fuel efficiency (equivalent to 306 kilometres per litre), it also won the climate friendliness award for the lowest CO2 emission as well as the prize for the best alternative fuel to diesel. The DTU entry had the additional distinction of being the only DME-powered car in the entire event.
 
The competition victory provides excellent proof of DME's credentials as a fuel for the future. Besides being relatively inexpensive to produce from biomass, coal and natural gas, it also burns smokelessly and produces less NOx and CO2 than conventional diesel. A European study has shown that compared on a kilowatt-hour basis with conventional diesel engines, DME powered engines produce almost 30 times less CO2. DME powered engines also run more quietly.
 
The news was reported by Ingeniøren (The Engineer).
 
 

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