Abstract.

Part 1: ETBE and TAEE: an industrial experience.

The results of two temporary revampings in ETBE mode of the Elf-Feyzin commercial MTBE unit has led to a longer revamping of this unit since April 1993, giving IFP and Elf a unique industrial experience. Crude ETBE from bio-ethanol is now currently sent to the refinery gasoline pool without any difficulty. The Elf-Feyzin TAME unit was also temporarily revamped in TAEE and operating results were also collected. After MTBE and TAME, both ETBE and TAEE IFP processes are now commercially available.

Part 2: non classical ethers: the IFP approach.

FCC cuts as feedstocks for TAME and higher ether production: the advantage of a diene selective hydrogenation is discussed; a strict final boiling point (under 60°C) is recommended. An attempt at quantifying the effect of the main pollutants (nitriles, mercaptans, Sulfides and disulfides) is also presented. Sulfides and nitriles have the most detrimental effect on the catalyst life duration.

Etherification of dimate: The Dimersol C6 cut contains more than 45% of etherifiable material. This opportunity is used to decrease its olefins content. Such etherification results in increasing the MON (+ 5) and the (RON + MON)/2 (+3.5) of dimate and in decreasing its RVP (from 0.45 to 0.28 bar). The Dimatol (IFP process for dimate etherification) is now ready for commercialization.

Isopropyl terbutyl ether (IPTBE): Addition of isopropyl alcohol to isobutene is an alternative to the MTBE production. Local production of isopropyl alcohol by propylene hydration could avoid any methanol importation. IPTBE RON (120) and MON (1 11) are compared to those of the commercial ethers. IPTBE appears to be a promising gasoline additive. 119 E

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