Evonik launches next-generation biofuel component

Evonik launches next-generation biofuel component

9:34 AM, 8th October 2012
Evonik launches next-generation biofuel component
Evonik headquarters in Germany.

ESSEN, GERMANY: With a biological version of a premium antiknock agent in its portfolio (methyl tert-butyl ether or MTBE), Evonik now offers oil companies a new option for significantly increasing the bio content of their fuels and reducing their carbon footprint.

“Bio-MTBE is the only commercially available, next-generation biofuel component for gasoline in Germany. And it doesn’t compete with food production either,” explained Dr Rainer Fretzen, Head, Performance Intermediates, Evonik.

Bio-MTBE is produced in Marl (Germany) along with conventional MTBE. Evonik produces Bio-MTBE from isobutene and biomethanol. Because it is made from raw glycerine, which is a co-product of the biodiesel manufacturing process, biomethanol is classified as a waste product according to EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) - doubling its value for determining bioenergy content. That makes Bio-MTBE a promising option for fuel manufacturers looking to meet EU specifications for biofuel use and CO2 reduction.

MTBE has been a trusted antiknock agent for decades, and Bio-MTBE possesses the same technical advantages as its conventional counterpart. It also means that Bio-MTBE can be handled safely in refineries and storage tanks and be conveyed by pipeline.

While Evonik has primarily sold Bio-MTBE in Germany and the Netherlands, implementation of EU directives in other member states promises additional growth potential for this next-generation biofuel component. If needed, Evonik could shift the full capacity of its plant (550,000 metric tonne per year) over to production of Bio-MTBE.

© WOC News

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