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AMOCO TESTS COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION OF ETBE AT ITS YORKTOWN, VA., REFINERY

 AMOCO TESTS COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION OF ETBE
 AT ITS YORKTOWN, VA., REFINERY
 CHICAGO, Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Amoco Oil Company's Yorktown, Va., refinery is conducting the first commercial production test of ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE), an oxygenate made from corn-produced ethanol.
 The refinery is testing its ability to use ethanol in a processing unit that normally uses methanol to produce another oxygenate, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). ETBE has been produced in laboratory test plants, but never in a full-scale production unit. Amoco will produce 400-500 barrels of ETBE per day during the test.
 ETBE is a low-evaporation product that can be blended with gasoline to reduce carbon monoxide emissions from automobile tailpipes. The Clean Air Act requires the use of oxygenates beginning this fall in 39 cities that exceed federal standards for carbon monoxide pollution.
 "Our goal is to prove there are no technical roadblocks to producing ETBE," said Allen A. Kozinski, vice president of research and development for Amoco Oil Company. "This commercial demonstration should show that ETBE represents an environmentally sound way to increase use of ethanol in reformulated gasoline."
 ETBE is preferred as a blending component because it has a low vapor pressure, or evaporation rate, and thus produces fewer smog-causing evaporative emissions. As a comparison, ETBE has a vapor pressure of 4 psi; MTBE 9 psi; and ethanol about 19 psi. Because it is handled at the refinery level, ETBE is also easier to blend into gasoline as compared with ethanol, which is splash-blended at product distribution terminals.
 "Due to the cost differences of ethanol vs. methanol, ETBE is not currently economical," Kozinski said. "However, if the subsidy for ethanol used in ETBE was increased sow?hat above the existing 54 cents per gallon, or ethanol prices were lower, ETBE could become economical."
 -0- 8/13/92
 /CONTACT: Patricia Wright, 312-856-5566; or Tom Mueller, 312-856-5388; both of Amoco Corporation/
 (AN) CO: Amoco Corporation ST: Illinois IN: OIL SU:


KK -- CL012 -- 9734 08/13/92 14:51 EDT
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Date:Aug 13, 1992
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