In this study, the NO emission characteristics of a dimethyl ether fueled compression ignition (CI) engine were studied, and a suitable combustion control concept was developed. A three-zone thermo-chemical model was used to understand the basic NO formation characteristics with dimethyl ether. The experimental study was carried out using a small direct-injection diesel engine. Comparison of the experimental and calculated results showed that the dimethyl ether / air mixing process was relatively slow compared with diesel fuel, which is the main reason for the relatively high NO emissions with dimethyl ether operation, in spite of its lower adiabatic flame temperature. To reduce the high temperature period, turbulence was introduced into the combustion chamber by a high-turbulence combustion system, which reduced NO emissions. It became clear that acceleration of the mixing process is an important factor for NO reduction with dimethyl ether spray combustion.