Techno-Economic Study on the Potential of Dimethyl Ether as a Substitute for LPG
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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

Abstract:

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.

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