Table of Contents
Journal of Fuels
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 360790, 11 pages
Research Article

Characterization of Sulfur Compounds in MTBE

Research Institute of Petroleum Processing, Beijing 100083, China

Received 11 August 2014; Revised 23 October 2014; Accepted 4 November 2014

Academic Editor: Marten Ternan

Copyright © 2015 Mingqing Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A study is carried out on chemical constitution of sulfur compounds in MTBE and their formation mechanisms. These sulfur compounds are classified into three types: common sulfur compounds, newly formed sulfur compounds, and high boiling sulfur compounds. Common sulfur compounds which include mercaptans, low molecule sulfides and disulfides, are directly from C4, one of the stocks for production of MTBE. The newly formed sulfur compounds, with one sulfur atom and five or more total carbon atoms in one molecule, are mainly tert-butyl methyl sulfide and tert-butyl ethyl sulfide, thioetherification products of thiols with butenes. Many high boiling sulfur compounds, including polysulfides such as dimethyl trisulfide, multisulfur heterocyclic compounds such as 3,5-dimethyl-1,2,4-trithiolane, and oxygen-containing sulfur compounds such as 2-methoxy-3-methylthio-butane, are also found newly formed in the processes of LPG refining and succedent etherification reaction for producing MTBE. Polysulfides are additional products of elemental sulfur to disulfides, and other high boiling sulfur compounds may be formed by thiols reacting with dienes.