Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)is primarily used as a fuel additive. Safe Home offers a few kits that provide drinking water testing for Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in city and well water supplies.

Parameter Type: Drinking Water Testing for Volatiles

Parameter Name: Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)

What it is and Where it Comes From:

Methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), also known as methyl tert-butyl ether and tert-butyl methyl ether, is an organic compound with a structural formula (CH3)3COCH3. MTBE is a volatile, flammable, and colorless liquid that is sparingly soluble in water. Primarily used as a fuel additive, MTBE is blended into gasoline to increase knock resistance and reduce unwanted emissions. MTBE is manufactured via the chemical reaction of methanol and isobutylene. Methanol is primarily derived from natural gas, where steam reforming converts the various light hydrocarbons in natural gas (primarily methane) into carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The resulting gases then further react in the presence of a catalyst to form methanol. Isobutylene can be produced through a variety of methods. One such method is via the isomerization of n-butane into isobutane, which then undergoes dehydrogenation to form the desired product. MTBE is found in some water sources, mainly in urban areas with leaking underground gasoline storage tanks. MTBE also has been detected in the air near some fuel facilities, in the air of cities where MTBE is still used in gasoline, and in the air around gas stations when people are fueling their vehicles. Drinking water testing gives you several benefits like peace of mind, identifying contaminants in your water, and insight into health concerns. Safe Home offers Laboratory drinking water testing kits for Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), allowing you to collect your water sample and ship it directly to our EPA-Certified Laboratory. This platform of drinking water testing for Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) will give you an accurate level based on the lowest level of a parameter our instruments can detect (Method Detection Level). Safe Home drinking water testing for volatiles can be used for city and well water supplies. Drinking water testing should be done any time you notice a significant change in your water quality.

Health Effects:

Acute (short term) exposure of humans to methyl tert-butyl ether also has occurred during its use as a medical treatment to dissolve cholesterol gallstones. Chronic (long-term) exposure to methyl tert-butyl ether has resulted in central nervous system (CNS) effects, respiratory irritation, liver and kidney effects, and decreased body weight gain in animals. EPA has not classified Methyl tert-butyl ether with respect to potential carcinogenicity. Acute animal tests in rats have demonstrated methyl tert-butyl ether to have moderate acute toxicity via ingestion. CNS (central nervous system) effects observed in animals following oral exposure to methyl tert-butyl ether include ataxia, incoordination, loss of righting reflex, decreased startle and pain reflexes, prostration, drowsiness, and hypoactivity.

Solutions to Contaminant Levels:

Now let us talk about treatment after drinking water testing. A filter with granular activated carbon (GAC) is a proven option to remove certain chemicals, particularly organic chemicals, from water. GAC filters also can be used to remove chemicals that give objectionable odors or tastes to water such as hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs odor) or chlorine. Reverse osmosis is a process that removes foreign contaminants, solid substances, large molecules, and minerals from water by using pressure to push it through specialized membranes. Here’s how reverse osmosis works. Unlike osmosis, which is a passive process, reverse osmosis requires external force (pressure) to work. Pressure is applied to a highly concentrated solute solution, such as salt water, to pass through a membrane to a lower concentrate solution. The membrane allows water to flow through but blocks out larger molecules, like contaminants. The reverse osmosis process leaves higher concentrations of solute on one side and only the solvent, or freshwater, on the other. Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area? Every community water supplier must provide an annual report to its customers, known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The report provides information on your local drinking water quality, including the water’s source, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water. How often does the local public water system preform drinking water testing? Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. Certain contaminants are tested more frequently than others, as established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. You can find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year in your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).

File Under: Volatiles

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