In this study, a homogeneous mixture of natural-gas and air was used in a compression ignition engine to reduce NOx emissions and improve thermal efficiency. In order to control ignition timing and combustion, a small amount of DME was mixed with the natural-gas. Engine performance and the exhaust characteristics were investigated experimentally. Results show the following: the engine can run over quite a large load range if a certain amount of DME is added into natural-gas. By optimizing the proportion of DME to natural-gas, NOx emissions can be lowered to near zero levels if the mixture is lean enough. Thermal efficiency is higher than that obtained with normal diesel fuel operation.