MTBE is an organic compound known for its, volatility, flammable nature, and colorless liquid state. While sparingly soluble in water, MTBE also possesses a minty aroma not unlike diethyl ether, which gives it an extremely unpleasant taste and odor when combined with water. The primary industrial use of MTBE is as an octane booster in gasoline fuel, though numerous legislative and regulatory bodies are contesting its use as a refined petroleum additive due to its capacity for contaminating groundwater. Despite these misgivings, industrial worldwide production of MTBE continues to grow due to the rapid growth of demand in Asian fuel markets. MTBE is produced via the reaction of methanol from natural gas and isobutylene derived from the butane byproducts of crude oil and natural gas. The US is one of the largest producers and consumers of MTBE, and is generally used in the production of anti-knocking agents for cars with engines designed for use with unleaded gasoline.
Oil & Gas