Dimeta, Rinnai partner to decarbonize LPG appliances

October 3, 2023 By    

Dimeta, a global joint venture between SHV Energy and UGI International to advance the production and use of renewable and recycled carbon dimethyl ether (DME), signed a memorandum of understanding with Rinnai, a global manufacturer and distributor of gas appliances, to explore ways to decarbonize the propane market in Europe through the use of DME.

From left, Tony Gittings, managing director of Rinnai UK, and Frankie Ugboma, CEO of Dimeta. _ Dimeta, Rinnai partner

From left, Tony Gittings, managing director of Rinnai UK, and Frankie Ugboma, CEO of Dimeta.

Renewable and recycled carbon DME is a clean-burning, sustainable fuel made from various feedstocks, such as waste, biomass or biogas, according to Dimeta. DME can reduce emissions by up to 85 percent compared to oil and diesel. DME can be blended with propane and renewable propane up to 20 percent and “dropped in” to existing propane supply chains, providing a pathway to reducing emissions from the more than 13 metric tons used for energy in Europe each year.

Together, Dimeta and Rinnai will explore the role of DME blended with propane and used in existing appliances, as well as 100 percent DME dedicated appliances, including hot water production systems, boilers and dryers. The collaboration between Dimeta and Rinnai will focus initially on the European market.

Rinnai sees DME appliances joining its suite of appliances that support off-grid industries, including the leisure, agriculture and hospitality sectors.

“Our propane-fueled products play a critical role in powering off-grid communities across the world,” says Tony Gittings, managing director of Rinnai UK. “With more steps being taken to lower global emissions, being able to provide greener solutions is key on the road to net zero. Our collaboration with Dimeta will enable us to explore further the use of renewable liquid gases like DME and how we can deliver quality appliances that not only work efficiently and affordably for our customers but contribute positively to the global environment.”

The agreement follows planning approval for Dimeta’s £150 million ($182 million) renewable and recycled carbon DME production plant in the U.K. Once operational in 2025, the plant will produce more than 50,000 tons of DME from non-recyclable waste – the equivalent of 25 percent of propane domestic heating in the U.K. In addition to the first plant in the U.K., subsequent plants are in development in Europe and the U.S. as part of Dimeta’s goal to achieve 300,000 tons of DME production capacity by 2027.

“Collaboration with the whole supply chain is critical to the success of the rollout of renewable and recycled carbon DME,” says Frankie Ugboma, CEO at Dimeta. “By having the support of world-leading companies such as Rinnai, we can maximize the opportunities for DME to support the hardest-to-decarbonize sectors, such as off-grid homes and businesses. Working together, we can harness our shared experience and knowledge to find bold ways to decarbonize the propane market that will result in a greener future.”

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