Lyondell Chemical Company announced today that it is producing and marketing the automotive fuel component ETBE [ethyl-tertiary butyl ether] out of its plant in Fos-sur-Mer, France.
ETBE is derived by reacting bio-ethanol (from biomass) with isobutylene to produce a high-octane gasoline component. As an oxygenate, ETBE can be easily blended into gasoline within a refinery or blending facility to produce clean burning fuel with low tailpipe emissions.
ETBE in gasoline reduces exhaust emissions of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from vehicles, thereby improving air quality. ETBE offers low Reid Vapour Pressure (RVP), low reactivity, and low water solubility, further enhancing its usefulness in gasoline blending formulations. ETBE's low RVP makes it possible to incorporate biofuels into gasoline blends without the need for vapour pressure waivers, which impact emissions and air quality.
All European Union Member States are currently developing plans to implement a directive promoting the use of biofuels such as ETBE. Lyondell's production of ETBE supports this EU effort. Lyondell can play a leading role in this biofuels expansion due to its strong technical capabilities and significant commercial experience in producing and marketing large quantities of fuel ethers in the European market.