New paper shows that polyoxymethylene ethers with butyl end-groups are promising alternative diesel fuels with low soot emissions

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Polyoxymethylene ethers (POMEs) are a group of molecules with alternating carbon and oxygen atoms that can be made sustainably from biomass or waste carbon dioxide and have very low soot emissions.  However, the POMEs that are currently available have methyl end-groups, which causes them to have unacceptably high water solubilities. In a new paper, we demonstrate a process for converting the methyl groups to butyl groups via transacetalization reactions with butanol, and show that the resulting butyl-POMEs have greatly reduced water solubility while still offering improvements in soot emissions over conventional petroleum-derived diesel fuels.

The full text is available at

This work was a collaboration with Kenneth Reardon at Colorado State, and Dan Ruddy and Tom Foust at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).