The Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) market is projected to reach USD 18.99 Billion by 2022 from an estimated USD 14.99 Billion in 2017, at a CAGR of 4.8% from 2017 to 2022. Major factors fueling the growth of the MTBE market are the growing demand from the gasoline application, increasing demand for the MTBE oxygenate from the APAC region, and stringent environmental regulations in the emerging economies.
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The report "Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Market by Manufacturing Process, (Steam Cracker, Fluid Liquid Cracker), Application (Gasoline), and Region (North America, Europe, APAC, Latin America, Middle East & Africa) - Global Forecast to 2022",
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Increase in use of gasoline is expected to drive the MTBE market.
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The gasoline application segment led the MTBE market, in terms of value, in 2016. This can be attributed to the high demand for gasoline from APAC, Middle East & Africa, and Latin American countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico.
The MTBE market has witnessed several changes in the past few decades. The use of MTBE as oxygenate has been completely banned in the US after 2006 due to the contamination of groundwater.
MTBE, as oxygenate, is being replaced by Ethanol and ETBE in Japan, Brazil, and some Western European countries due to certain environmental and legal regulations. The CAGR of other applications of MTBE, such as high purity isobutene and medical intermediates is increasing at rates well above global GDP.
Based on application, the gasoline segment is projected to lead the MTBE market during the forecast period
More than 90% MTBE is used for gasoline blending due to its high consumption in terms of volume. When used in gasoline engines, it enables reduction in the knocking effect that leads to inefficient burning and engine damage.
MTBE has been used in gasoline since 1979 due to environmental and health concerns. The use of MTBE as gasoline additive started with the replacement of metallic additives, such as lead and Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl (MMT).
APAC is the largest consumer of MTBE for gasoline blending due to the expanding vehicle fleets and growing urbanization in the region.
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Based on manufacturing process, the fluid liquid cracker segment is projected to lead the MTBE market during the forecast period
The fluid liquid cracker process is similar to the steam cracker process with the only difference being that the isobutene is extracted from FCC overheads. In this process, capacity is determined by the feed availability.
Usually, the plants manufacture in the range of 20,000-70,000 tons per annum. This process is widely used, as it is the simplest and the most feasible.
This is a refinery based process and the least expensive. APAC is expected to lead in the fluid liquid cracker process in the MTBE market due to the rising refinery capacity in the region during the forecast period.
APAC is the key region in MTBE market
In terms of volume, the APAC region MTBE market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR between 2017 and 2022, due to the increased demand for gasoline in the region. This is a result of rapid economic expansion and increase in foreign direct investment in countries, such as China and South Korea, the MTBE market is expected to grow significantly during the next five years.
Most of the countries in the APAC region are emerging and cannot afford costly oxygenates, such as Ethanol and ETBE, due to which there are no restrictions on blending MTBE with gasoline in the region. Some of the world’s largest MTBE producers, such as Sinopec (China), China National Petroleum Corporation (China), and Petronas (Malaysia) are headquartered in the APAC region.
China is the largest consumer of MTBE and also has the highest production capacity in the world.
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Some of the leading producers of MTBE are SABIC (Saudi Arabia), Evonik (Germany), China National Petroleum Corporation (China), Huntsman International (US), Eni (Italy), Sinopec (China), LyondellBasell (Netherlands), Shell (Netherlands), Emirates National Oil Company (UAE), and Qafac (QATAR). These players adopted various organic and inorganic developmental strategies between 2013 and 2017.
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