Dimethyl Ether (DME), propane, Shocktube, Mixing controlled compression ignition (MCCI), Alternative Fuel, Biofuel, High Pressures, Heavy-duty engines


Currently extensive research on alternative fuels is being conducted due to their increasing demand to reduce greenhouse emissions. One renewable fuel studied in this work is dimethyl ether (DME) blended with propane(C3H8) as a potential mixture for heavy-duty engines used in semi-trucks. The blend has the potential to drastically reduce particulate and greenhouse gas emissions compared to a conventional diesel engine operating under similar conditions. To develop the use of mixture, one must conduct detailed conceptual and simulation studies before progressing to detail studies in CFD, engine modifications, and live testing. For simulations, accurate high-fidelity chemical kinetic models are necessary. However, the validity of the chemical kinetic mechanism for operating conditions of a heavy-duty mixing-controlled compression (MCCI) engine was widely unknown until recent work presented here and published. In this work, we studied the ignition of DME and propane blends in a shock tube under MCCI engine conditions. Ignition delay time (IDT) gathered behind the reflected shock for DME-propane mixtures for heavy-duty compression ignition (CI) engine parameters. Testing was conducted for undiluted varieties spanning from temperatures of 700 to 1100 K at pressures ranging from 55 to 84 bar for various blends (100% CH3OCH3, 100% C3H8, 60% CH3OCH3/ 40% C3H8) of DME and propane were combusted in synthetic air (21% O2/ 79% N2). Several experiments were conducted at higher pressures (90-120 bar) to improve the model performance and accuracy. The ignition delay times (IDTs) were compared to recent mechanisms, including Aramco3.0, NUIG, and Dames et al. A common trend among the mechanisms was overpredicted experimental IDTs. Further studies were conducted by a sensitivity analysis using the Dames et al. model, and critical reactions sensitive to IDTs of DME-propane mixture near 60 bar are outlined. Chemical analysis was conducted on the NTC region to explain chemical kinetics which is critical for developing MCCI heavy duty engines.

Completion Date




Committee Chair

Vasu, Subith


Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering; Thermofluids









In copyright

Release Date

May 2025

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)

Campus Location

Orlando (Main) Campus

Accessibility Status

Meets minimum standards for ETDs/HUTs

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2025; it will then be open access.