Bio Friends leads eco-friendly DME and hydrogen energy

신태섭 기자l승인2020.09.01

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▲ Bio Friends / CEO Cho Won-jun

Bio Friends has launched a trial run of the commercial DME (Dimethyl Ether) factory in Boeun, North Chungcheong Province. DME is received as a next generation energy that does not emit harmful substances during combustion. DME is a promising alternative to CFC-11, aerosol, refrigerant and blowing agent. When pyrolyzed, DME can also be turned into highly efficient hydrogen. 

CFC-11 is the cause of 2,000 times of greenhouse effect than CO2. The Montreal Protocol bans the use of the substance by 35% until 2020, 67% until 2025 and 97.5% until 2030. 

DME, the most promising alternative to CFC-11, is estimated worth 1.2 trillion won ($1.2 billion) in overseas market and 20 billion won in South Korea as of 2019. The market grows by yearly 6.5% with rapid speed in the Asian Pacific regions. 

Bio Friends is targeting to produce around 20,000 tons of DME by 2024 worth 2.4 billion won. Around 40,000 tons is to be produced overseas factories to be shipped to South Korea. 

The DME technology of Bio Friends is assessed as a step ahead of that of Japanese Mitsubishi. Bio Friends has commercialized the world's first catalyst tech-applied heat removal dehydration process with 10% prime cost competitiveness and 78% yield. 

Cho Won-jun, CEO of Bio Friends, is working on cooperation for the hydrogen energy with the U.S. OberonFuels and Canadian ChemBioPower while suggested partnership to Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company. 

"We can get 6 hydrogens when dissolve DME at 350~450℃. Bio Friends has developed the world's first DME hydrogen producer that can produce around 10kg hydrogen a day. DME-driven hydrogen is economic, safe and the charging station costs only around 60% of the existing cost."

Jo worked for Korea Gas Corporation during which he carried out research and development in DME and received the Jan Yeong Sil Prize with catalyst combustor. He currently is serving the vice president of the Korea DME Association. 


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