In this paper, a new oxygenate methyl 2-butoxyethyl carbonate was chemically synthesized and structurally identified. The effects of the oxygenate as an additive on diesel fuel properties were investigated. Accompanying the increase in volumetric content of the oxygenate in diesel fuel, kinematic viscosity decreases slightly, smoke point increases substantially, flash point goes up a little, solidifying point declines remarkably linearly and there is no copper corrosion emerging during the experiment. The test results of a single cylinder, DI diesel engine burning diesel fuels containing 15%(v) and 25%(v) of the oxygenate exhibited that under 1600rpm, CO can be reduced by the maximum of 60.0%, smoke can be lessened by 57.1%∼87.3% and 57.1%∼91.2% respectively. At 2000rpm, CO can be reduced respectively by the maximum of 50.0% and 87.5%, smoke can be lessened by 9.1%∼64.1% and 33.3%∼69.6% respectively. However, NOx was observed to have increased by 8.5% to 20.9% during all the experiment. When fueled with the oxygenate, engine in-cylinder peak pressure increases a little and ignition delay becomes shorter or keeps unchanged. Engine heat release rate rises remarkably during the premixed combustion and goes up slightly in the diffusion combustion.