DME Becomes the First Biogas-Based Fuel Approved Under the U.S. Renewable 
Fuel Standard

UNITED STATES | Another important step forward has been achieved for the commercial introduction of DME as a transportation fuel, with confirmation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") that DME produced from biogas and other renewable sources by IDA member company Oberon Fuels qualifies for inclusion under 
the Renewable Fuel Standard ("RFS") – the first such approval ever given for a biogas-based fuel. Oberon's biogas-based DME is now eligible under the Clean Air Act for high value cellulosic biofuel (D-code 3) and advanced 
biofuel (D-code 5) renewable identification numbers ("RINs*") under the RFS.
This determination by the EPA marks another important milestone in 2014 for DME's introduction as a fuel, following on the publication in February of an ASTM specification for DME (ASTM D7901 – Standard Specification for Dimethyl Ether for Fuel Purposes), another initiative led by executives from Oberon Fuels. The ASTM specification provides guidance for fuel producers, engine and component suppliers, and infrastructure developers on DME purity, 
testing, safety, and handling.
The EPA's analysis determined that biogas-based DME produced using the Oberon process resulted in an approximate 68% reduction in greenhouse gases when compared to baseline diesel fuel. The determination confirms that renewable DME produced using biogas from landfills, municipal wastewater treatment facility digesters, agricultural digesters, separated municipal solid waste (“MSW”) digesters, and biogas from the cellulosic components of biomass processed in other waste digesters through the Oberon pathways qualifies for cellulosic biofuel RINs, while renewable DME produced from biogas from waste digesters processing renewable biomass that is assumed non-cellulosic through the Oberon pathways qualifies for advanced biofuel RINs. In July the EPA issued a ruling that qualifies renewable biogas sourced from a number of feedstocks as advanced fuel pathways under the RFS. New pathways include compressed and liquefied natural gas produced from landfills, municipal wastewater treatment plants, MSW and agricultural digesters. Eligibility for RINs was also extended to electricity sourced from biogas that is used specifically to power electric vehicles.
The program for the DME 6 conference in San Diego (7 – 8 October) includes updates from Oberon Fuels and other companies on commercial and technical developments connected with DME for fuel applications, and an opportunity to meet with representatives of companies now entering the market, evaluating the opportunities, and / or looking for technology, guidance, investment, and partners.

Oberon Fuels Leads Important Industry Initiatives
The EPA determination related to the Oberon Fuels DME process is another significant achievement for the company and its senior executives, and further validation of the technical and commercial feasibility of their process and DME fuel applications. The ASTM specification issued in February this year had its origins in the initiation by Oberon in 2012 of an ASTM task force focused on developing a specification for DME as a fuel. In addition to Oberon Fuels, the ASTM DME task force involved representatives from a number of international companies and organizations including Volvo, BP, Delphi, Marathon Petroleum, Petrobras, the National Propane Gas Association, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Oberon executives currently chair the IDA’s North American Affairs Committee and participate in several others, and their successful petition to the EPA for certification of a pathway (defined as a feedstock, fuel type, and/or fuel production process) is further demonstration of the resources and leadership that the company is contributing to enable the successful introduction of DME as a fuel in North America and elsewhere. The company is a sponsor of DME 6, and on 9 October will welcome a number of conference delegates (who have registered for the optional visit) to their Maverick plant in the California desert – the first DME for fuel production facility in North America.

The Renewable Fuel Standard and the Market Value of RINs Credits
The EPA is responsible for developing and implementing regulations to ensure that transportation fuel sold in the United States contains a minimum volume of renewable fuel, and does this through the administration of the Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”). The RFS program, introduced with laws passed in 2005 and 2007, established the first renewable fuel volume mandate in the U.S. and requires the annual use of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022. Under the RFS, the EPA applies lifecycle greenhouse gas performance threshold standards to renewable fuels to ensure that each category of renewable fuel emits fewer greenhouse gases than the petroleum fuel it replaces.*RINS (Renewable Identification Numbers) are used to monitor and record the use of biofuels or renewable 
volume obligations (RVO) for obligated parties (e.g. fuel refiners and importers) as part of the RFS. Each RIN is a 38-character alphanumeric code assigned to each gallon of renewable fuel that is produced or imported into the United States. RINs are valid for the year in which they are generated, however, up to 20% of a year's mandate can
be met with RINs generated in the previous year. Once the renewable fuel has been blended into gasoline or diesel fuel or sold to consumers in neat form, the RIN representing the renewable attribute of the fuel becomes separated from the physical biofuel and can be used for either compliance purposes or traded. Separated RINs have a market value attached to them and provide flexibility for obligated parties in meeting their RVOs.

DME Represented at White House Meeting
UNITED STATES | Oberon Fuels President Rebecca Boudreaux met with White House Domestic Policy Council and Senior Advisor to the President John Podesta last month to discuss concerns about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approval process for new biofuels, and the new Renewable Volume Obligation requirements being introduced. Both Oberon Fuels and DME's introduction as a fuel in North America were discussed at the meeting. Boudreaux participated in the meeting as part of a delegation of seven industry members with the Advanced 
Biofuels Association (ABFA) to encourage the White House, among several matters, to speed up approvals of new fuels that can qualify as advanced and cellulosic fuels, suggesting that the EPA expedite the manner in which they approve pathways for feedstocks, fuels, and technologies. More than 30 applications for new biofuel sources are pending at the EPA, with an average wait time of two years. The delays keep fuels off the market because prospective buyers cannot get credit under the biofuel mandate to purchase them.