Ether Market Drivers and Future Developments

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Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) play a key role in the current global gasoline market. From a consumer perspective, ethers provide a high-octane, non-sulfur, and non-aromatic oxygenated blendstock.

The development of the ether market is driven by several factors, including

  • Gasoline market: ethers count for 4% of the gasoline supply.  Therefore, their future will depend on the development of the gasoline market in the different EU countries.
  • Legislation: In Europe the Renewable Energy and Fuel Quality directives will be the main drivers for changes in the fuel and ether market for the foreseeable future. These pieces of legislation set targets for the share of biofuels in transport fuels and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
  • Technological developments:  Some of the potential future developments in the ether market could include higher octane gasoline, bio-MTBE production, conversion of TAME to TAEE and ternary blending.