The Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, or ETBE, report is covered weekly in Europe by ICIS. The price assessments cover ETBE spot and as a premium to Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE); an MTBE price completes the table.
Market news and analysis in the commentary compares ETBE in graphs to MTBE and gasoline, and also to Ethanol Fuel grade and FAME. Demand, supply, production issues and feedstock developments also go to complete this unbiased and independent view of the market. Whether you are buying or selling ETBE or related products, this is a valuable reference tool to use when making those important business choices.
Ethyl tertiary butyl ether Overview Transcript
Ethyl tertiary butyl ether, or ETBE is a gasoline blending agent made from bioethanol. It increases the oxygenate level and improves the quality of gases.
It performs a similar role to traditional gasoline components such as MTBE but has added value because it is a biofuel.
EU mandated renewable fuel targets mean that biofuels in Europe command a premium over regular fuel equivalents and ETBE is traded on a premium over MTBE because of that.
The European ETBE market is subject to seasonal variations in demand, similar to those in the gasoline markets and can also be subject to fluctuations in supply. This is because, in addition to European production, the market relies on imports from South America.
The price of ETBE, while being largely determined by that of MTBE, is also influenced by supply and demand fundamentals, as well as the price of feedstock bioethanol, which is itself subject to a high degree of variability. It’s an unpredictable market.
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Ethyl tertiary butyl ether: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2016
Despite a slightly slower start to the third quarter than might be expected, because the summer driving season has seemed late to rev into gear, demand in the third quarter (Q3) for ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) was looking to be healthy. A lot of demand for ethers was noted from blenders and refiners with domestic gasoline sales from most western European holiday destinations. Whether this continues will depend on the strength of the summer driving season. Spain may be an exception, with apparently weaker demand linked by some in the market to its 2016 legislative swap to a common target for biofuels. This meant biofuel mandates could be met either with bioethanol or ETBE, or biodiesel, rather than mandating both had to be used to meet targets.
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Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Methodology
About Ethyl tertiary butyl ether
Ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) is an oxygenated fuel that can be blended with gasoline to make it burn more cleanly. ETBE is produced from ethanol and isobutylene. It is used for octane improvement and motor fuel volatility control.
ETBE is clear in appearance and although virtually colourless it does have a slight yellow appearance and a strong odour. In addition, the fuel is highly flammable.
The ETBE and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) processes are similar, and a number of MTBE units in Europe have been converted to use ethanol feedstock for ETBE production in order to meet biofuels targets.