What are Fuel Ethers?

Fuel ethers, including MTBE, bio-MTBE, bio-ETBE, TAME, bio-TAME and TAEE, are key components for the production of high-octane fuels. They are the clean and efficient replacement for compounds, such as for instance toxic lead, that pose a proven risk to health and the environment. Whether manufactured from traditional hydrocarbons or renewable biomass, fuel ethers are more energy dense than alcohols. Therefore, they increase petrol’s performance, while reducing the emissions of air pollutants and CO2 across their life cycle.

Fuel ethers provide benefits for consumers as they:

  • Improve fuel consumption, therefore allowing cars to run longer distances with the same amount of fuel.
  • Prevent engine damage thanks to a more efficient combustion of petrol.
  • Improve air quality and reduce the emissions of exhaust pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulates (PM).

They are great for vehicle producers as they:

  • Are compatible with existing, as well as alternative, power train technologies (like hybrid cars), improving their environmental performance.
  • Help reduce fuel consumption by improving the volumetric and thermal efficiency, complementing engine technologies such as direct injection, turbocharging or higher engine compression ratios.
  • Help reach CO2 emission reduction goals and renewable energy source targets throughout their life cycle.

Fuel ethers benefit refiners as they:

  • Reduce the need for more energy intensive fuel components, reducing overall CO2 emissions.
  • Provide refiners with more blending options for volatile liquid fuels especially for petrol engine fuels, due to low vapour pressure (RVP).
  • Are compatible with the existing refinery infrastructure, fuel supply and distribution system without additional investment.
  • Provide the possibility of blending light olefins in petrol.
  • Increase refining petrol production. Access to a high-octane blending component is particularly valuable during refinery outages and distribution system disturbances when additional supplies are needed most.

Fuel ethers:

MTBE ETBE TAME TAEE
Bio-MTBE Bio-ETBE Bio-TAME Bio-TAEE
Methyl-tert-butylether Ethyl-tert-butylether Tertiary-amyl-methyl-ether. Tertiary-amyl-ethyl-ether