Dimethyl ether is produced from coal, natural gas, and biomass. It is one of the clean energy sources that have no sulfur content. It is present in the gaseous state in normal temperature and pressure, however, turns to liquid state when subjected to moderate pressure. Moreover, it is easy to store and transport. Automotive motors, chemical, petrochemicals, power generation, and domestic households are some of the end-user of the dimethyl ether.

The global dimethyl ether market was estimated to be valued more than US$ 8.0 billion in terms of revenue in 2019 and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 9.5% during the forecast period (2020 to 2027).

Drivers

Strong demand for dimethyl ether as aerosol propellents is propelling the market growth. Dimethyl ether as aerosol propellents helps in to spray the vapor state paints from a pressurized container. So, the growing demand for propellents from the paints and coatings industry is projected to foster the market growth of the dimethyl ether. Also, the growing demand for dimethyl ether from various end-user industries such as household fuel, transportation, and power generation is further anticipated to augment the market growth over the forecast period.

Market Opportunities

Development of the bio-DME by manufacturers is expected to serve major opportunities in the market of dimethyl ether over the forecast period. For instance, in September 2018, Enerkem has produced a clean, renewable bio-dimethyl ether (Bio-DME) by using the company’s proprietary thermochemical technology. The clean, renewable bio-dimethyl ether (Bio-DME) could replace the use of diesel fuel in the transportation sector.

Market Restraints

Strict government rules and regulations regarding the blending of DME in LPG is expected to hinder the market growth of the dimethyl ether. For instance, from March 2008, the Chinese National Administration of Quality and Technical Supervision (NAQTS) has made the blending and filling of DME-LPG mixtures illegal for the mixtures that did not follow safety regulations, were filled into inappropriate cylinders, or were not labeled as DME-LPG mixtures.

Key Takeaways

On the basis of product type, fossil fuel based dominated the global dimethyl ether market in 2019 with around 89% of market share in terms of revenue, followed by bio based.

Market Trends

Manufacturers of the chemical industry are investing heavily in the chemical sector for enhancing chemical production and meet the rising demand for chemicals around the globe. This could be one of the major trends in the market. According to the Cefic Facts & Figures, Global capital spending on the chemical sector was US$ 230 billion in 2018, up from US$ 130 billion in 2008. Investment around the world grew at 6% per annum on average over the past 10 years. Moreover, China being the largest market for chemicals accounted for 45% of global investment in 2018.

The growing partnership and agreements among key manufacturers is one of the current trends in the industry. For instance, in May 2020, Air Products and Haldor Topsoe announced the Alliance Agreement. The two companies are using their extensive market network outreach for developing potential projects on large-scale ammonia, methanol, and/or dimethyl ether plants to be developed and built globally. This partnership allows Air Products to access Topsoe's technology license and supply of certain high-performance catalyst for ammonia, methanol and/or dimethyl ether plants.

Global Dimethyl Ether Market - Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic

The global spread of (Covid-19) Pandemic has resulted in lockdown measures, and cease in economic activities which has severely impacted the oil & gas and transportation sector. Furthermore, the sudden decline in manufacturing of various products in China during first half of 2020 is expected to have a cascading negative effect on demand for dimethyl ether. This factor is expected to hinder the growth of the global dimethyl ether market till the period of 2021.

Competitive Section

Key players are operating in the global dimethyl ether market are China Energy Ltd., Fuel DME Production Co., Ltd., Korea Gas Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Akzo Nobel NV, Oberon Fuels, Inc., Grillo-Werke AG, Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group Co., Ltd., E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co, and Mitsubishi Corporation

Few Recent Developments

  1. In July 2019 Oberon Fuels has received a grant for almost US$ 2.9 million from the California Energy Commission (CEC) for a project to produce the first renewable dimethyl ether (rDME) fuel in the US.
  2. In February 2020, Oberon Fuels, a producer of ultra-low-carbon, renewable dimethyl ether (rDME) transportation fuel, and SHV Energy, the distributor of propane fuel, have partnered to increase the use of renewable DME to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation fuel.

Market Taxonomy

By Product Type

  • Fossil Fuel Based
  • Bio Based

By Application

  • LPG blending
  • Aerosol propellants
  • Transportation fuel
  • Industrial
  • Others

By Region

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Rest of the World
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