MTBE BlendingThe manufacture of MTBE consumed 11.3% of the 98.3 million metric tons of methanol produced in 2019. The major use for MTBE is to boost gasoline octane value in blends. MTBE adds oxygen when blended with gasoline, allowing for more efficient combustion, and less carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbon in exhaust emissions. Oxygenated additives like MTBE promote CO2 during combustion as opposed to hazardous CO. MTBE replaces the higher combusting, but more volatile components of gasoline, and is designed to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides, helping to abate ground level ozone/smog formation. MTBE is also used as a source of isobutylene in the manufacture of high purity polyisobutylene.

MTBE Derivative End Use Applications

Neat / Refined MTBE

Gasoline blends


Reagent / reaction medium


Iso-butylene Methylmethacrylate (MMA)


Growth in MTBE demand typically follows gasoline demand growth on a global basis. Asia accounts for more than half of world supply and demand and China more than half of Asian demand. Global growth in MTBE demand will predominantly be in China. 

MTBE can be made using available refinery and olefin cracker butylene streams. However, technology employing the use of iso-butane and methanol has become prevalent. 

Exports of MTBE from the US have become regular, mainly to Mexico, Canada, and South America. In Asia, MTBE trade is focused towards Singapore with China a growing exporter. European MTBE supply is increasingly from the Middle East. A trade matrix showing MTBE trade by MMSA region and country listings can be provided to clients separately.

MMSA maintains a detailed global database of MTBE producers and consumers, as well as global supply and demand balances and forecasts through 2050. It has provided one-off, proprietary studies into this global industry and specific companies operating within it. MMSA can assist companies or financial institutions with existing investments or looking to make future investments in this industry. MMSA can provide an efficient and objective assessment of the outlook for that investment in several forms: 

 Market (Supply and Demand) Analysis 

    • Price Outlook / Margin Analysis 
    • Technology Review 
    • Valuation 
    • Viability, Pre-Feasibility Assessments