December 2020

Process Optimization

Driving higher return with fuel-grade butanol at the refinery

Since the advent of the combustion engine, gasoline and automobile manufacturers have utilized additives as a means of improving overall fuel characteristics.

Since the advent of the combustion engine, gasoline and automobile manufacturers have utilized additives as a means of improving overall fuel characteristics. Initial efforts focused on improving the fuel’s octane rating, lowering the propensity for engine knocking. Tetraethyl lead (TEL) proved to be an inexpensive additive capable of meeting this objective, and it remained prevalent in the U.S. until the 1970s, when concerns over lead toxicity resulted in the gradual shift to unleaded fuels. With TEL no longer a viable option as a fuel additive, the industry began widely utilizing oxygenates to improve octane rating and fuel performance. The term “oxygenate” refers to a chemical compound t

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