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Information @ a Glance


  • Methyl tertiary butyl ether (methyl tert-butyl ether, methyl t-butyl ether, or MTBE) is a chemical compound used as a fuel additive in gasoline.
  • MTBE is a colorless, flammable liquid with a distinctive odor that many people find unpleasant. It is soluble in alcohol and ether. It is unstable in acidic solutions.
  • Synonyms for MTBE are methyl tert-butyl ether, tert-butyl methyl ether, and 2-methoxy-2-methylpropane.
  • Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MtBE) is a gasoline additive that boosts the oxygen content in fuel (an oxygenate), resulting in less air-polluting carbon monoxide being released from vehicle exhaust systems.


  • High-silicon synthetic and natural (clinoptilolite) zeolites, carbon fibrous sulfonic cation exchanger,and aluminosilicate catalyst were first tested as catalysts for production of methyl tert-butyl ether.
  • MTBE oxidation by alkane-grown cells of P. mendocina KR-1 is a cometabolic process that involves the activity of an inducible n-alkaneoxidizing monooxygenase enzyme system.

Application & Technology

  • Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is commonly added to gasoline in the United States for octane enhancement and as a fuel oxygenate. It is used in large quantities each year to reduce levels of ozone and carbon monoxide.
  • MTBE phytoremediation technology depends primarily on mass removal to control the downgradient spread of dissolvedphase.
  • MTBE. Cores of live oak trees above a plume showed MTBE in the tree fluids. Some field tests are ongoing at MTBE sites.
  • Methyl tert-butyl ether may be removed from environmental media by some of the active or passive strategies typically employed for gasoline remediation, including Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA).


  • The blending of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) into motor gasoline has increased dramatically.
  • MTBE usage grew in response to octane demand resulting initially from the phaseout of lead from gasoline and later from rising demand for premium gasoline.
  • The oxygenated gasoline program stimulated an increase in MTBE production.

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