PEP Review 87-3-1
MTBE from Butadiene Rich Mixed C4s
Published: October 1988
A process for production of MTBE from mixed C4 streams rich in butadiene has been developed by Snamprogetti SpA. By operating within a narrow range of conditions, the butadiene reactivity can be controlled without affecting the selectivity of isobutyiene conversion to MTBE.
SRI's cost estimates show that the fixed capital investment for a 95 million lb/yr (43,000 t/yr) MTBE plant by the Snamprogetti process is about 76% greater than that for a conventional post-butadiene extraction MTBE plant. The higher investment, net production cost, and product value for the Snamprogetti process result primarily from the processing of additional material (i.e. butadiene) per pound of MTBE produced. When combined MTBE synthesis and butadiene extraction processes are compared (etherfication followed by extraction versus extraction followed by etherfication) there is no apparent advantage for using the Snamprogetti process. The total fixed capital for the combined process with the modified Snamprogetti process is greater than that for the conventional process sequence.