Context: The Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences recently inaugurated the Dimethyl ether (DME) fired “Aditi Urja Sanch” unit along with the DME-LPG blended fuel cylinders.

More on the news:

  • These were handed over for common public and CSIR-NCL (National Chemical Laboratory) canteen use on a trial basis at CSIR-NCL premises virtually through video-conferencing.
  • At the occasion, a special burner unit for DME-LPG blend as a domestic cooking fuel also launched.
  • Currently, CSIR sponsored FTT/ FTC (Fast track Commercialization) project for the pilot plant demonstration has been sanctioned, and CSIR-NCL is also in advanced discussion with various industry stakeholders.   

Dimethyl ether (DME) 

  • It is an ultra-clean fuel. 
  • CSIR-NCL has developed the nation’s first kind of DME pilot plant with 20-24Kg/day capacity. 
  • The conventional LPG burner is not suitable for DME combustion as DME density is different from LPG. 
    • To address this issue, CSIR- NCL’s “ADITI URJA SANCH” has come up with a helpful, innovative setup. 
  • The new Burner is fully designed and fabricated by NCL for DME, DME -LPG blended mixtures and LPG combustion.

Salient features of newly designed Burner are as follows

  • The new design is efficient for both DME and the blend of DME and LPG.
  • Novel design and flexible air ingress.
  • The new nozzle design allows optimum oxygen ingress for combustion
  • The angles at which nozzles are placed maximize the heat transfer area across the utensils.
  • Optimum flame velocity can be obtained.
  • The length of the flame (high, low, and medium) can be adjusted by altering the oxygen ingress.
  • The experiment shows that it increases the heat transfer rate as well.

Significance of the move

  • The launch of this burner will also provide a significant boost to the 'Make in India' campaign as all the manufacturers of cylinders, gas stoves, regulators, and gas hose are domestic. 
  • The DME project is moving on fast track mode from the laboratory to the market to ultimately reach people under the methanol economy and green sustainable fuel policy of the country. 
  • This kind of activity may bridge the gap between demand and supply, and it can ensure energy security for the nation.
  • Better efficiency: Trial runs have demonstrated improvement by 10-15 %, compared to conventional burners using LPG alone.
  • The well-being of women and children
    • A clean cooking fuel combination of DME-LPG also safeguards the well-being of women and children. 
    • The DME process technology is economical, cost-effective, and scalable with in-situ product purification as well as a heat integration unit that produces pure DME.

Dimethyl Ether

  • Dimethyl ether (DME) is a synthetically produced alternative to diesel for use in specially designed compression ignition diesel engines. 
  • Under normal atmospheric conditions, DME is a colorless gas. 
  • It is used extensively in the chemical industry and as an aerosol propellant
  • DME must be kept in pressurized storage tanks at an ambient temperature.


  • Although dimethyl ether can be produced from biomass, methanol, and fossil fuels, the likely feedstock of choice for large-scale DME production is natural gas
  • DME can be produced directly from synthesis gas produced from natural gas, coal, or biomass. 
  • It can also be produced indirectly from methanol via a dehydration reaction

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