Ethyl tertiary-butyl ether (ETBE), a reaction product of ethanol and isobutylene, has been proposed as a high-octane blending component for gasoline. Laboratory studies have been conducted to determine how the addition of ETBE to gasoline affects the volatility characteristics of the fuel, and how the effects of ETBE compare with those of the commonly used oxygenates, ethanol and MTBE. The amount of vapor generated in bench-scale simulated evaporative emissions tests with each of those three oxygenates was also determined.
The vapor pressures of gasoline-ETBE blends decreased linearly as the concentration of ETBE was increased. In contrast, ethanol addition raises the vapor pressure of gasoline, although in a nonlinear fashion. ETBE increased the mid-range volatility of the fuel, in the same way as a pure hydrocarbon of similar vapor pressure and boiling point.
In the simulated evaporative emissions tests, a gasoline-ETBE blend generated much less diurnal and hot soak vapor than a gasoline-ethanol blend.
The results of this study lead to the conclusion that, based on evaporative emissions considerations, the use of ETBE in gasoline is preferable to the use of ethanol, from which ETBE is made.