Will DME save us from the oil crisis?

To satisfy world demand, as former third worlders become first worlders, and want cars and air conditioning, the world needs to increase production of oil and oil substitutes about three million barrels per day each year. Equivalently, the world needs to increase production one hundred and fifty million tonnes per year per year.
Now if we compare what is needed, with what is under development, and reasonably projected, what is under development is indistinguishable from zero. China recently projected that by 2020, would be producing thirty million tonnes per year, which is a drop in the bucket.

On the other hand, one can set up a DME plant a fair bit quicker than synfuel plant, and DME production seems to be expanding exponentially. DME is an LPG substitute, which can be used in diesel engines the way LPG can be used in petrol engines. DME production may be doubling every couple of years, or every year. Suppose world production of DME is now four hundred thousand tonnes per year, and suppose it is doubling every two years, which are informed wild ass guesses. In that case, DME will start to bring down oil prices when it reaches about one hundred and sixty million tonnes per year, or four hundred times its present production – and if it is doubling every two years, will reach that in eighteen years, around 2026.


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