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Catalyst for New Energy Source Developed
January 21, 2005
A new energy source, cheaper than petroleum and creating only low levels of pollutants, awaits mass production as a joint research team has developed its catalyst and technology for the production.
The Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), along with the R&D center affiliated with SK Corp., has successfully developed a highly active catalyst and the production technology that would produce dimethyl ether (DME), a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) containing oxygen, in a project financially sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the institute said January 14. DME is an energy source that emits 8 percent less carbon dioxide than diesel oil, and 18 percent less of the same pollutant than LPG when it is used as automobile fuel.
Dr. Jun Ki-won, principal research scientist of KRICT, said, "I expect that we can export the technology to China within three years and be able to produce 10,000 tons of DME a day. The production will be equivalent to 10 percent of diesel oil transactions at the domestic market, worth about 1 trillion won a year."
The institute has registered its patent for the production technology in the United States and Japan last October.