To meet the world's growing demand for sustainable solutions, Braskem has doubled its ETBE (ethyl tert-butyl ether) in Brazil, an automotive gasoline bioadditive that improves its performance and is produced in part from ethanol. For that purpose, the company invested more than BRL 5 million in converting its MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether) unit in the Triunfo Complex, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, including adjustments in the plant, asset recovery and procurement of a strainer for receiving Hydrated Ethanol, raw material used as Methanol replacement.
ETBE, already produced in the Camaçari Complex in Bahia state since 2009, is obtained from the reaction of ethanol (43%) with isobutene (57%). As it contains raw materials from renewable sources, it is a sustainable alternative to MTBE, a component that is used in gasoline in various countries, which is made from methanol.
Considering the Renovacalc premise for ethanol, a method used in the Renovabio program, and considering the standard conversion factors of ANP [Agencia Nacional do Petroleo (Brazilian Petroleum Agency)], for each ton of ETBE produced, an estimated 847 kg of CO2 emission is prevented compared to MTBE. As a result, the solution contributes towards mitigating climate change, besides meeting sustainability criteria in the most demanding markets.
"The option for ETBE is the result of studies carried out by Braskem during the last years in order to find a sustainable solution for octane boosters used in the composition of gasoline, in addition to our commitment to contribute towards the reduction of carbon emissions, in line with Braskem's macro goals", explains Cirilo Vieira, Fuel Business Director at Braskem.
"In addition to the benefits associated with sustainability, doubling the production volume meets the growing demand of ETBE clients, a product that meets the requirements of biofuel mandates in different markets, especially in European and Asian countries. The increased volume also creates a competitive advantage to Braskem and reinforces its relevance as a global player in this segment", says Eduardo Camelyer, commercial manager of Blendstocks, GLP and Fuel Oil at Braskem.
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