SAN DIEGO, Sept. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Oberon Fuels Inc. ("Oberon"), the first company to announce plans to commercialize biogas-based dimethyl ether ("DME") fuel production in North America, announced today that the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") has approved its DME for inclusion under the Renewable Fuel Standard ("RFS"). Oberon's biogas-based DME is now eligible for high value D-Code 3 (cellulosic) and D-Code 5 (advanced) renewable identification numbers ("RINs") under the RFS. The EPA determined that biogas-based DME produced from the Oberon process resulted in an approximate 68% reduction in greenhouse gases when compared to baseline diesel fuel.
"Less than a year after submitting our pathway petition, this biogas produced fuel was approved. We are excited to see the EPA continue to support innovative, new fuels and include Oberon's DME under the Renewable Fuel Standard," said Rebecca Boudreaux, Ph.D., president of Oberon Fuels.
"One of the exciting attributes of DME is that, at its core, DME is a simple fuel," according to Oberon's co-founder and COO Elliot Hicks. "It requires a simple diesel engine and has simple propane-like handling properties."
The transportation industry, particularly the heavy-duty sector, now has another option under the RFS for a domestically produced, renewable fuel. "Our customers are engaged in heavy-duty applications and need the power and torque of a diesel engine," said Susan Alt, Volvo Group North America's senior vice president of public affairs. "Oberon's DME offers that power without the need for the cryogenics or high compression associated with other diesel alternatives. We look forward to continuing our work with Oberon to demonstrate the benefits of this clean-burning, non-toxic diesel alternative for the heavy truck industry."
The EPA's approval of biogas-based DME is the latest milestone for the growing DME industry. In February 2014, ASTM International, a globally recognized organization that develops technical standards, released a specification for DME as a fuel. ASTM D7901 provides guidance for fuel producers, engine and component suppliers, and infrastructure developers on DME purity, testing, safety, and handling.
About Oberon Fuels
California-based Oberon Fuels monetizes biogas and other hydrocarbon rich waste streams by converting such feedstock into higher valued commodities. Using its proprietary small-scale process, Oberon makes DME, a clean-burning diesel alternative, and methanol from methane and carbon dioxide. In 2013, Oberon Fuels' pilot plant in Brawley, California produced the first fuel-grade DME in North America, which is currently being used by Volvo Trucks, a division of The Volvo Group, in its commercial demonstrations of DME-powered, heavy-duty trucks. To learn more about Oberon Fuels, visit www.oberonfuels.com.
About The Volvo Group
The Volvo Group is one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment, and marine and industrial engines. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. The Volvo Group, which employs about 110,000 people, has production facilities in 19 countries and sells its products in more than 190 markets. See more at: www.volvogroup.com.
Brittany Syz - Media Relations 619-756-6459