Techno-Economic Study on the Potential of Dimethyl Ether as a Substitute for LPG
Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32870
Techno-Economic Study on the Potential of Dimethyl Ether as a Substitute for LPG

Authors: W. A. Pamungkas, R. B. Setyawati, A. F. Rifai, C. P. Setiawan, A. W. Budiman, Inayati, J. Waluyo, S. H. Pranolo


The increase in LPG consumption in Indonesia is not balanced with the amount of supply. The high demand for LPG due to the success of the government's kerosene-to-LPG conversion program and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 led to an increase in LPG consumption in the household sector and caused Indonesia's trade balance to experience a deficit. The high consumption of LPG encourages the need for alternative fuels which aims to substitute LPG. Dimethyl Ether (DME) is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3OCH3, has a high cetane number and has characteristics similar to LPG. DME can be produced from various sources such as coal, biomass and natural gas. Based on the economic analysis conducted at 10% Internal Rate of Return (IRR), coal has the largest Net Present Value (NPV) of Rp. 20,034,837,497,241 with a payback period of 3.86 years, then biomass with an NPV of Rp. 10,401,526,072,850 and payback period of 5.16. The latter is natural gas with an NPV of IDR 7,401,272,559,191 and a payback period of 6.17 years. Of the three sources of raw materials used, if the sensitivity is calculated using the selling price of DME equal to the selling price of LPG, it will get an NPV value that is greater than the NPV value when using the current DME price. The advantages of coal as a raw material for DME are profitableness, low price and abundant resources, but it has high greenhouse gas emission.

Keywords: LPG, DME, coal, biomass, natural gas.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 241


[1] H. Suryadri, SP Sumantri, J. Tribrata, KM Pondok, P. Unggulan, IB Material, U. Jambi, "Potency of OPEFB as Raw Materials for Bioethanol and Dimethyl Ether through the Gasification Process the Potency of Palm Empty Fruit Bunches as Raw Materials for Producing Bioethanol and Dimethyl Ether Using Gasification Process,” 20 106–120 (2021).
[2] K. ESDM, Handbook of Energy and Economic Statistics of Indonesia 2020, 2020.
[3] National SJDE, 2021 National Energy Balance Analysis Report, 2021.
[4] LK Arifushidqi, I. Muhammad, Y. Rahmawati, "Pre Design of a Dimethyl Ether (DME) Factory from Natural Gas Using the Indirect Process Method," 10 (2021).
[5] A. Muliahati, EF Karamah, I. Kaifiah, "Study of domestic coal-based dimethyl ether (DME) utilization to reduce LPG import," E3S Web Conf. 67 1–7 (2018).
[6] Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, “Handbook Of Energy & Economic Statistics Of Indonesia 2021,” 73 (2021).
[7] A. Masudi, NW Che Jusoh, O. Muraza, "Recent progress on low rank coal conversion to dimethyl ether as clean fuel: A critical review," J. Clean. Prod. 277 124024 (2020).
[8] MAA Ahamed, MSA Perera, SK Matthai, PG Ranjith, L. Dong-yin, “Coal composition and structural variation with rank and its influence on the coal-moisture interactions under coal seam temperature conditions – A review article,” J. Pet. sci. Eng. 180 901–917 (2019).
[9] IEA (IEA), “Coal Information: Overview, IEA, Paris,” IEA (2021), Coal In (2021).
[10] S. Kim, J. Kim, E. S. Yoon, "Evaluation of coal-based dimethyl ether production system using life cycle assessment in South Korea," Comput. Aided Chem. Eng. 31 1387–1391 (2012).
[11] A. Rachmawati, M. Mahfud, TF Maulana, "Pre Design Methanol Plant from Low Grade Coal," J. Tek. ITS. 10 (2021).
[12] H. Susanto, Development of Gasification Technology to Support Energy and Chemical Industry Independence, 2018.
[13] N. Lecksiwilai, SH Gheewala, M. Sagisaka, K. Yamaguchi, "Net Energy Ratio and Life cycle greenhouse gases (GHG) assessment of bio-dimethyl ether (DME) produced from various agricultural residues in Thailand," J. Clean. Prod. 134 523–531 (2016).
[14] A. Darmaja, IR Kartikasari, G. Wibawa, R. Tetrisyanda, “Pre-Design of Dimethyl Ether Plant from Natural Gas Through Direct Process,” 10 0–6 (2021).
[15] A. Rafiee, “Staging of di-methyl-ether (DME) synthesis reactor from synthesis gas (syngas): Direct versus indirect route,” Chem. Eng. Res. dec. 163 157–168 (2020).
[16] WW Ajeng Puspitasari Yudiputri, Eviana Dewi Setiawati, Gede Wibawa, “PRA Design of Dimethyl Ether (DME) from Natural Gas,” J. Tek. ITS. 3 10–13 (2014).
[17] MA Ramadhan, FB Auliyaurrahman, R. Tetrisyanda, G. Wibawa, “DME Factory Pre-Design from Natural Gas with Direct Process,” 9 (2020).
[18] M. Burhanudin, RM Aulia, "Dimethyl Ether (Dme) Factory from Natural Gas with the Direct Contact Natural Gas Process Using Direct Contact," (2016).
[19] H. Hao, Z. Liu, F. Zhao, J. Du, Y. Chen, “Coal-derived alternative fuels for vehicle use in China: A review,” J. Clean. Prod. 141 774–790 (2017).
[20] A. Ardian, "Coal Proximate Analysis," (2015).
[21], "The Price of 12 kg LPG Translucent Rp. 205 Thousand," (nd).
[22] Sunsirs, “China DME Spot Price,” (n.d.).
[23] HS Parbowo, A. Ardy, H. Susanto, "Techno-economic analysis of Dimethyl Ether production using Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches as feedstock - A case study for Riau," IOP Conf. Ser. Mater. sci. Eng. 543 0– 7 (2019).
[24], “Natural Gas Prices,” (nd).
[25], “Conversion MMBtu to Tonnes,” (nd).
[26], “Downstream Coal in the Form of Dimethyl Ether (DME) Will Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions Executive Summary,” 1–14 (2020).
[27] P. Haro, F. Trippe, R. Stahl, E. Henrich, “Bio-syngas to gasoline and olefins via DME - A comprehensive techno-economic assessment,” Appl. Energy. 108 54–65 (2013).