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Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE)

Methyl tertiary butyl ether (mtbe) is a volatile, oxygen-containing hydrocarbon primarily used worldwide as an oxygenated fuel additive. Oxygenates are added to motor vehicle fuels to make them burn more cleanly, thereby reducing toxic tailpipe pollution, particularly carbon monoxide and volatile organic ozone precursors. Oxygenates are favored not only for their role in reducing combustion engine vehicle emissions, but also as octane boosters and volume extenders. The primary oxygenates are alcohols and ethers, including: fuel ethanol, MTBE, ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE), and tertiary amyl methyl ether (TAME).

Following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) approval of MTBE as a fuel additive in 1981, it became the oil refiner's oxygenate of choice because its blending attributes include a high octane rating and gasoline miscibility, and it ...

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