Group warns against ETBE ban

The Clean Fuels Development Coalition Wednesday warned that ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) should not be included in any ban against the use of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in US reformulated gasoline.


Washington, DC�The Clean Fuels Development Coalition Wednesday warned that ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) should not be included in any ban against the use of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in US reformulated gasoline.

At the request of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Congress is considering a phase-out of MTBE in gasoline, since the additive has been found to pollute water supplies in some areas.

Todd Sneller, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board and chairman of CFDC�s study team on ETBE, said, �All ethers do not act the same way in either water, soil, or the atmosphere, and ethanol-based ethers have distinct advantages. While no ETBE is currently being used in any real quantities in the US at this time, there is a chance it could be used to meet future fuel quality and emission requirements.�

Sneller said there is no reason to ban or limit use of ETBE, which is made by combining ethanol and natural gas liquids.

�CFDC supports any option that would preserve a market for ethanol, even if it is significantly down the road. Even in California, officials have told us that, with aboveground storage tanks, state-of-the-art monitoring devices, and other (leak prevention) mechanisms in place, ETBE could still play an important role if we can get the state to recognize this distinction,� Sneller said.

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