Tractor major TAFE has teamed up with IIT-Kanpur to develop technology for tractor engines that can run on Di-methyl Ether (DME), rather than an engine.
DME, an alternative fuel that has been on the fringes of use for a long time, is a green fuel that can be produced (also) from biomass.
It has a very high cetane number which means it can ignite easily under compression. For this reason, it has been touted as an easy alternative to diesel.
Dr. Avinash Kumar Agarwal and Prof Tarun Gupta of IIT-Kanpur have taken up the development of the technology for DME-powered diesel engines under the Department of Science and Technology’s Imprint-2 initiative and has been sanctioned ₹1.60 crores for the project.
TAFE is an industrial partner, which means the company has made a financial commitment to the project.
The researchers say that they intend to modify a base diesel engine and develop a retrofit kit for DME adaptation so that even existing engines could be made to run on DME.
At the end of the project, the researchers will also build a prototype tractor engine that will be fully powered by DME.