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In the 1990's, methyl-tert-butyl ether (MTBE) was the oxygenate of choice for refiners. Today, environmental concerns limit the future of MTBE as a gasoline additive. California has set a mandate for gasoline to be MTBE free. This creates a number of challenges for refiners:
  • Loss of volume and octane contribution of MTBE
  • 'Stranded' MTBE facilities and existing isobutylene feedstock
  • Unrecovered/underutilized capital
KBR offers a solution in the form of NExOCTANE™ technology. In conjunction with Fortum Oil & Gas Oy, the developers of NExOCTANE, we offer licensing of this technology for the production of iso-octene and iso-octane.

Iso-octene and iso-octane are cost effective replacements for MTBE in the gasoline pool. A low-cost retrofit equips existing MTBE facilities for the dimerization of isobutylene feedstock to produce iso-octene. Further hydrogenation produces the saturated iso-octane product. Both have a significantly higher blending value than alkylate or catalytic polymerization gasoline and require significantly lower capital investment.

NExOCTANE technology can convert MTBE units integrated in butane-dehydro complexes, as well as refinery FCC/alkylation units. The full range of isobutylene feedstock has been extensively tested in Fortum's continuous pilot plant.

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