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methyl tert-butyl ether

Product name methyl tert-butyl ether
Synonyms MTBE
tert-butyl methyl ether
2-methyl-2-methoxy propane
GOST no data
CAS 1634-04-4

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is a chemical compound that is manufactured by the chemical reaction of methanol and isobutylene. MTBE is produced in very large quantities and is almost exclusively used as a fuel component in motor gasoline. MTBE is a volatile, flammable and colorless liquid, has a typical odor reminiscent of diethyl ether, fully miscible with ethanol, diethyl ether, slightly soluble in water (4,6% at 20 °C). It forms azeotrope with water (52 - 53°C) and methanol (51 - 52°C). The tert-butyl group is easily cleaved off under strongly acidic conditions, particularly if heated to give isobutylene and methanol.


MTBE is prepared by reacting isobutylene contained in a mixed C4 stream with methanol in the presence of an acidic ion-exchange resin catalyst such as sulfonated styrene linked with divinyl benzene at 100 C.


  • The most quantity of MTBE produced worldwide is used as an oxygenate to gasoline. It is added both to increase octane enhancement to replace banned tetraethyl lead and to raise the oxygen content in gasoline.
  • MTBE is used as a reaction medium and extraction solvent to replace methylene chloride, aromatics, and other ethers in laboratory use and chemical industry.

  • Manufacturer(s) JSC "Nizhnekamskneftekhim" Inc.
    JSC Sibneft-ONPZ
    CJSC Sterlitamak Petrochemical Plant
    JSC Togliattikauchuk
    JSC Uralorgsintez
    Chemical structure of tert-butyl methyl ether

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