MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether) is a chemical compound that is manufactured by the chemical reaction of methanol and isobutylene. MTBE is produced in very large quantities (over 200,000 barrels per day in the U.S. in 1999) and is almost exclusively used as a fuel additive in motor gasoline.

MTBE is a colorless flammable liquid with a characteristic oder and an average octane number of 108. It is used as a gasoline additive that provides clean burning fuel to reduce the tail gas pollution generated by motor vehicles but at the same time eliminating the need for Tertra Ethyl Lead blending the gasoline.

What is it used for?

Blended gasoline (petrol)

Reformulated gasoline (petrol)

How is MTBE produced?

QAFAC produces 1830 tonnes of MTBE (Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether) per day.

MTBE is produced by processing butane and methanol. Whilst Qatar Energy provides the filed butane, methanol is provided by the on-site Methanol plant.

QAFAC produced MTBE is also used by Qatar Energy Refinery to replace lead in the gasoline locally marketed in Qatar.

Butamer Isomerisation

Butane Dehydrogenation

MTBE Synthesis

Material Safety Data Sheet

There are many safety precautions that need to be strictly followed when working with MTBE. It is important to know how to identify hazards, first aid measures, firefighting measures, accidental release measures, handling and storage measures and physical and chemical properties to be aware of.

Download the Material Safety Data Sheet

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