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California Company Launches Industry-First Alternative Fuel for Trucks


San-Diego-based Oberon Fuels has developed a process to convert biogas or natural gas into a clean burning fuel called dimethyl-ether or DME.

DME is sulfur-free and generates no harmful particulate matter.

Oberon will test DME’s performance in heavy-duty commercial Volvo trucks driven by Safeway for operations in the San Joaquin Valley.

It’s received a 500-thousand dollar grant from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to do the testing.

Governor Jerry Brown’s Senior Energy Advisor Cliff Rechtschaffen says its promising technology for California.

“This fuel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it will reduce particulate emission, carbon monoxide emissions and other harmful air pollutants," says Rechtshaffen. "It helps create consumer choice and fuel diversity in California and also creates jobs.”

 Oberon will open a plant in Brawley to produce fuel grade DME this month.


Amy Quinton

Former Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio 

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