Methyl-tertiary+butyl+ether

Methyl-tertiary+butyl+ether - MTBE: Not such a good idea...

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This Lecture MTBE: Not such a good idea after all?
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MTBE Methyl-tert-butyl-ether Is a fuel additive designed to reduce the production of smog by increasing the burning efficiency of gasoline for cars, trucks, and boats Increases the Octane rating of gasoline Produces marked reduction in CO (carbon monoxide) emission One of the most commonly used oxygenates
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Chemical Properties of MTBE Chemical Name: 2-Methoxy-2-methylpropane Other names: Methyl tert -butyl ether Manufactured from: methanol and isobutylene Chemical Formula: C 5 H 12 O Molecular Mass: 88.15 g/mol Figure: molecular structure of MTBE
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Recipe for gasoline: 15% C 4 -C 8 straight-chain alkanes 30% C 4 -C 10 branched alkanes 10% Cycloalkanes 25% Aromatics 10% straight-chain alkenes 10% Ethanol or MTBE
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A Controversial History Tetra-ethyl lead used since gasoline invented to prevent premature ignition (knocking) in engines – an inexpensive compound effective in increasing the Octane rating of gasoline Early 1970s EPA began phasing lead out of gasoline for dual purpose of protecting catalytic converters and protecting public health EPA hoped automobile industry and petroleum refiners would solve knocking problem with a different formulation of gasoline that could be burned in redesigned engines, refiners can enhance octane levels by adding or adjusting pre-existing levels of aromatics, alkylates, and oxygenates like ethanol Clean Air Act required EPA to consider alternatives to lead
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Alternatives to MTBE for enhancing Octane rating Re-tune refineries to operate at higher temperatures so as to produce high octane aromatics High temperature operation cost more and less energy efficient – especially at time of OPEC oil embargo of early 1970’s Manganese based additive called MMT 1977 MMT was outlawed because it interfered with the ability of catalytic converters to control hydrocarbon emissions – emission controls mandated by Clean Air Act and thus tail-pipe emissions standards in 1970
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MTBE into the picture 1978 MTBE a waiver was granted in 1979 with findings that at levels of 7% or less, it could be used as a gasoline additive based upon a finding that it would not adversely affect vehicle emissions or damage emission control devices little was known about chronic toxicity of MTBE
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1977 amendments to the Clean Air Act mandate that oxygenates be seasonally added to gasoline in certain parts of the country to help reduce overall Air Quality Oxygenates added to reduce CO emissions No specification as to what sort of oxygenate to be used Ethanol proposed by mid-west farm states
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1990 Amendment to Clean Air Act Requires “Reformulated Gasoline” in 10 large metropolitan Areas with the most severe summertime photochemical oxidant (ozone) levels. Reformulated gasoline must have higher oxygenate content
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Methyl-tertiary+butyl+ether - MTBE: Not such a good idea...

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