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.
Updated to Q1 2020
The French strikes continued to disrupt shipping and distribution logistics in the country at the beginning of the year. ETBE producers remained watchful of ethanol prices, which are expected to increase due to the EU RED II mandates. Producers with dual ETBE and MTBE production capabilities continued to prioritise MTBE over ETBE, as blending margins for MTBE are still higher due to relative cheaper methanol prices.
German and Dutch appetite for ETBE accounted for the ethanol-based octane booster’s year-on-year demand increasing significantly. The implementation of the EU RED II mandates, which will raise biofuels consumption year after year up to 2030, can partly be attributed to the high ETBE demand seen in Q1. Demand started to wane by the end of March as the coronavirus rampaged European gasoline markets and subsequent ETBE interest across the region.
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Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Methodology
Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether or ETBE is an oxygenated fuel that can be blended with gasoline to make it burn more cleanly and thus improve overall air quality.
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.
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