NExOCTANE™   high selectivity dimerization process – alternative for MTBE.

The NExOCTANE™ process in combination with the NExSAT™ hydrogenation enables a minimum cost change from production of MTBE to a high quality iso-octane motor fuel component utilizing existing site equipment in an optimum way.

If MTBE is banned, the refiners will be faced with gasoline pool octane and volume loss. Traditional alkylation has been introduced, as one of the processes needed to fill the MTBE gap. However, increased alkylation requires more isobutane and investments in capital intensive alkylation processes.

NExOCTANE™ isobutylene dimerization process offers for the refiner with an MTBE plant and for the company operating an on-purpose MTBE plant an option to convert the present asset to manufacture iso-octene. The iso-octene can be easily hydrogenated into iso-octane – a parafinic blending component with RONC and MONC approaching 100 and 2.0 psi RVP. This low investment cost option can be tailored using the main process items at the MTBE plant. In general, some more reactor capacity is needed for the total retrofit. In case the producer wants to get parafinic product, the NExSAT™ hydrogenation process can be applied.

The NExOCTANE™ technology has been developed through extensive laboratory and full recycle mode pilot testing.

Dimerization section:

NExOCTANE™ process_Dimerization section

Hydrogenation section:

NExOCTANE™ process_Hydrogenation section

The NExOCTANE™ / NExSAT™ concept offers several distinctive advantages:

Excellent yield of higher value iso-octane product due to:

  • Superior selectivity to iso-octane
  • Higher octane value
  • Lower density, i.e. more volume
  • Lower RVP
  • MTBE-free product

Low-cost retrofit of existing MTBE facility:

  • Commercially readily available standard catalysts
  • Conventional equipment

State-of-the-art liquid phase hydrogenation:

  • High conversion
  • Smaller equipment
  • Lower operating temperature
  • No hydrogen recycle compressor required
  • The non-reacting C4 stream can be recycled back into dehydrogenation feed at present world scale MTBE plants or directed into alkylation in refinery applications
  • No hazardous catalyst waste
  • Long cycle lengths

Technology licensing services are offered through a partnership of Neste Jacobs Oy and Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc.

For further information, please contact us.


Neste Jacobs Oy
POB 310
FIN-06101 Porvoo
Tel +358 10 45811
Fax +358 10 458 7221