Enjoyed this news article on KBR Iso-ocetene conversion – wonder if these ex-MTBE units going to continue use new product as replacement octane additive instead of blending component? Perhaps more octane could be added than just the octane value of Iso-ocetene if it was used back in blending stages?
When lead was phased out of gasoline blending – a lot of synergies in blending gasoline were discovered and the olefinic gasoline components often produced higher octanes than were predicted (in much same way most reformer gasoline produced lower octanes than predicted) because of synergistic reactions with other components used in blends.
The Alky and Poly units in a refinery are perhaps the only ones that produce a volume yield increase instead of process loss – so taking the MTBE units and feedstock for increasing these units out of the refinery was huge mistake that occurred during the last cycle of Coker & FCC expansions to handle heavier crudes (and as result (Alky MBD /FCC+Coker MBD) ratio dropped significantly from mid 1990’s to early 2005 time frame).
My point for mentioning this is that it would make MTBE project conversions cost have higher margins if the units were integrated back into the refineries at time when they need to upgrade their alky / poly units, instead of being just suppliers for octane blending additive .