Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/02/2014 -- Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is a colorless, volatile, flammable liquid majorly used as fuel component. MTBE is manufactured by catalytic reaction of isobutylene with methanol. MTBE is used as an octane buster in engines. It is also used as oxygenate to increase oxygen in gasoline. MTBE offers good blending properties and reduces the content of formaldehyde and benzene in gasoline. Additionally, it replaces lead compounds enhancing the anti-knocking properties of the fuel. It is also used as a laboratory reagent to extract compounds. It is also used as solvent to dissolve gallstones. Furhermore, it is used as intermediate for methyl methacrylate.
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MTBE is manufactured by reacting isobutene with methanol in a liquid phase reactor in presence of ion exchange resin. MTBE can further be processed to get isobutylene, which on further processing gives derivates such as methyl methacrylate (MMA), butyl rubber and polyisobutylene. Cost effectiveness and excellent blending octane value are the major advantages of methyl tertiary butyl ether.
The market for methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) was mainly driven by petrochemical applications. MTBE is majorly consumed as an octane buster and as anti-knocking agent in engines. MTBE is preferred over others due to its lower cost and effectiveness. MBTE finds application as a solvent and forms azeotropes with methanol and water. MBTE has various opportunities as a solvent in various chemicals. However, health and environmental issues related with MTBE can act as a major restraint for the market in upcoming years. Moreover, availability of substitutes also poses as a threat to the growth of the market. Additionally, biofuels mandate in European Union and the U.S. will be major constraint for the market.
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In terms of demand, Asia Pacific was the leading region in MBTE market. Growing demand of MBTE from automotive engine market has been the major driver for the growth in the market. India, Japan and China are the major consumers of MTBE in Asia Pacific region. Asia Pacific was followed by North America where the demand for MBTE is anticipated to grow in upcoming years. U.S. and Canada are the leading countries and exhibit higher demand for MTBE in the North American region. Moreover, the demand for MTBE for fuel purpose is declining due to regulations in this region. In addition, there are some ground water concerns regarding MTBE in the U.S. However, the demand for MTBE is likely to grow from more lucrative markets such as Latin America and Europe. Europe is expected to be lucrative market for MTBE in near future. The Rest of the World market is expected to show greater potential for MTBE market in next few years. The Middle East market is likely to exhibit more demand for MTBE in upcoming years due to increased gasoline quality requirements in this region.
Some of the key manufacturers in the MTBE market are Huntsman Corporation, LyondollBasell Industries, Oxeno Antewerpen, Panjin Hayen Industrial Group, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Zhenhai Refining and Chemical and Reliance Industries Ltd. among others.
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