PEP Review 87-1-3
Published: July 1988
Until the mid 1980s, MTBE was the only ether used as a high octane gasoline blending component. Since mid-1987, however, two plants have been brought on stream that etherify C5 and heavier iso-olefins in light FCC gasoline (in situ). Both the volume and octane number are thereby increased. Both operating plants together with a third under construction, use the Etherol� process which is licensed by BP: all the plants are in Western Europe.
This review addresses etherification technology and, because of the large volumes of FCC gasoline available in the United States, we assess the economics of the process in a typical American refinery. We conclude that economic returns can be quite attractive and that the process improves gasoline blending flexibility. It could also play a major role if gasoline vapor pressure is reduced to comply with recent EPA proposals.