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Axens secures global license for MTBE Decomposition tech

Axens secures global license for MTBE Decomposition tech
Made from the chemical reaction of methanol and isobutylene, metyl-tert-butyl-ether (MTBE) is primarily used as a fuel additive typically blended into gasoline to increase its octane rating and knock resistance (image courtesy Kemikungen).

France-headed chemical process technology provider Axens, an IFP Group company, has announced that it has signed an exclusive licensing alliance agreement with US-headed ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC, part of global oil, gas, and energy super-major ExxonMobil Corporation (ExxonMobil) allowing Axens to include ExxonMobil’s MTBE Decomposition technology for high-purity isobutylene in its portfolio.

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Used in the production of high-reactivity polyisobutylene and butyl rubber, ExxonMobil’s decomposition technology enables Axens’ customers to better address the growing demand for petrochemical intermediates over the next decade.

Under the agreement, Axens is granted a worldwide right to market, license, and provide engineering work and technical support for the design, construction, and start-up of new MTBE Decomposition units.

ExxonMobil MTBE Decomposition technology is a commercially proven, cost-effective, continuous fixed bed process that catalytically cracks MTBE into isobutylene and methanol. Adding this technology to Axens’ portfolio completes Axens’ offer and strengthens our long-term partnership with ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC, said Luc Wolff, VP Petrochemical Product Line at Axens.

This alliance builds on collective expertise to provide customers with isobutylene purity of at least 99.99 weight percent (wt%) via an integrated unit with MTBE and decomposition technologies or through a standalone decomposition unit.

We are excited to expand our partnership with Axens and provide this proven technology to the industry. Our partnership with Axens in other technologies has demonstrated how well the two companies work together. It was consequently quite natural to propose this technology to Axens knowing their capability to deliver technology to the market, said Louis Burns, Market Development Manager in ExxonMobil Corporation.

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