Dimethyl Ether (DME) is an isomer of ethanol and is part of the ether family. It is colorless and highly flammable with a sweet smell. It is a commonly used solvent that can also be used to manufacture other chemicals and has replaced CFCs as spray can propellant and refrigerants. DME is currently being used in hairsprays, bug sprays and aerosol glue products. Interestingly, it is also used in the over-the-counter liquids used to freeze off warts. On a larger scale, it is utilized as a fuel source for diesel engines and is considered preferable due to its low impact on the environment. It is cleaner, biodegradable with zero soot emissions. Use of this compound as fuel does not contribute to global warming the way other common fuel sources do.
Condensed Structural Formula:
Brady, R. (2013, November 26). Internal Combustion (Gasoline and Diesel) Engines. Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780124095489010563Links to an external site.
Kennedy, G. ( 2014, April 14). Dimethyl Ether. Encyclopedia of Toxicology (3rd ed.) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780123864543004917?via%3DihubLinks to an external site.