The global methyl tertiary butyl ether market is primarily used as a fuel additive in the gasoline engines owing to its high oxygen content raising property. It also helps in the total combustion of fuel and reduces knocking within the engine which in turn improves the life span of the machine. The use of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in fuel also helps in reducing emissions from motor vehicles.
Apart from that the abovementioned applications, MTBE is used in medical applications to dissolve gallstones. MTBE can be further processed to obtain isobutylene. Isobutylene is used to manufacture butyl rubber, polyisobutylene, and methyl methacrylate (MMA), which are used in numerous end-use industries, such as automotive, industrial manufacturing, and electronics. Refining companies are favoring the use of MTBE as a fuel additive due to its economic viability and excellent blending properties.
MTBE is an organic compound, which is colorless, volatile, and flammable in nature. MTBE is produced by a chemical reaction between methanol and isobutylene. It is majorly used as an anti-knocking agent and as an octane booster in the fuel for gasoline engines. The growth of the automotive industry in the Asian markets is expected to result in an increasing demand for MTBE Market.
In addition, the growing demand for gasoline and gasoline additives in the oil & gas and marine sectors is expected to augment the demand for MTBE. However, the presence of stringent regulations regarding groundwater contamination on account of gasoline leakages containing MTBE is expected to be a key restraining factor for methyl tertiary butyl ether market growth.
The Asia Pacific was the largest methyl tertiary butyl ether market in 2013 and the trend is expected to continue over the forecast period. India, China, and Japan were major consumers of MTBE in the region owing to the presence of numerous vehicles in the region. Less stringent policies for environmental protection and cost-effectiveness of MTBE is the key driver for MTBE in this region. South American countries such as Brazil have high potential growth in the forecast period owing to the upcoming refinery sector in the region, which requires MTBE as an anti-knocking agent to reduce wear and tear in heavy-duty machinery. The U.S., Canada, and the European Union have restricted the use of MTBE due to the hazards to groundwater and are favoring the use of bio-based fuel additives.
The market for MTBE is fragmented in nature, with good potential for growth in the emerging economies of the Asia Pacific and Latin America. The key players in the MTBE market include SABIC, Huntsman Corporation, Panjin Hayen Industrial Group, LyondollBasell Industries, Zhenhai Refining & Chemical, Reliance Industries Ltd., Oxeno Antewerpen, and Petronas.
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Demand across the organic chemicals sector shall register a slump in growth albeit increasing demand for certain chemicals that find end applications in healthcare and food. Furthermore, China, a major supplier of chemicals to the world, registered a considerable decline in manufacturing in the first quarter of 2020, following the trajectory unfolded by COVID-19's escalation to a pandemic. This has led to an imbalance in supply-demand dynamics, forcing manufacturers and customers alike to renegotiate supply agreements. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.