NExTAME™ light cracked naphtha etherification

    NExTAME™ is fully proven high conversion technology for producing methyl ethers from C5 - C7 tertiary olefins present in a fluid catalytic cracking unit cracked naphtha stream or pyrolysis gasoline. A separate methanol recovery section is not needed. NExTAME™ yields a product mixture containing the maximum amount of fuel ethers and unreacted hydrocarbons which can be used directly as a component in reformulated gasoline. No additional equipment is required for processing ethanol based ethers.

    NExTAME™ process

    Process Description

    In the NExTAME process, tertiary C5 - C7 isoolefins and methanol react in the presence of a catalyst, typically a cation exchange resin. Tertiary C5 olefins form TAME, tertiary C6 olefins form THxME (Tertiary Hexyl Methyl Ethers), and tertiary C7 olefins form THpME (Tertiary Heptyl Methyl Ethers). Ethanol forms corresponding ethyl ethers.

    Reactor effluent is routed to a distillation column in which the ether yield is enhanced by redirecting the side draw from to distillation column back to the reactor section. The loss of methanol to the overhead product is effectively limited by C4/methanol azeotrope in the top of the column. Thus, methanol can only leave the column from the side-draw point. The mixture of fresh feed and side-draw is led to etherification reactors. By doing so, the conversion of methanol and reactive isoolefins is substantially enhanced, resulting in an increased yield of ethers. The bottoms product of the distillation column contains all formed fuel ethers and unreacted C5 - C7 hydrocarbons.

    The overhead product comprises of C4 hydrocarbons present in the feed and an azeotropic amount of methanol (< 5%). Typically the distillate is less than 2% of the feed. With its low methanol content, this stream can be mixed with NExTAME product or it can be directed to the methanol recovery section of an existing MTBE unit.


    • The capability to process any feed in the C5 to C7 range with only loose requirements for pre-distillation. Extremely high TAME/TAEE, THxME/ThxEE and THpME/THpEE yield at low cost, using low-maintenance equipment.
    • Individually controlled reactor temperatures ensure high ether yield with minimal side product formation.
    • Conventional catalyst available from several sources, simple loading procedures.
    • Complete freedom to choose between methanol and ethanol.
    • Effectively, refinery integrated C5 - C7 etherification.
    • Low investment, only 2 - 3 fixed bed reactors and one distillation column.
    • No separate alcohol recovery section required.


    NExTAME™ Conversions


    For further information, please contact us.


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