MTBE Transport & Fate
These resources provide information on the fate and transport of methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) in the environment. For additional MTBE topics, return to the MTBE main page.
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- Aerobic Mineralization of MTBE and tert-Butyl Alcohol by Stream-Bed Sediment Microorganisms 1999.
Published in Environmental Science and Technology, this paper presents research results related to the mineralization of MTBE and TBA by microorganisms indigenous to the stream-bed sediments at two gasoline-contaminated ground water sites.
- Anaerobic Biotransformation of Fuel Oxygenates Under Sulfate-Reducing Conditions 2001.
Published in Microbiology Ecology, this paper presents the results of research on the anaerobic biotransformation of MTBE, ETBE, and TAME under different anoxic electron-accepting conditions.
- Analytical Issues for MTBE and Related Oxygenate Compounds (PDF) (3 pp, 181K, About PDF) Undated.
Published in L.U.S.T. Line, a technical newsletter for underground storage tank stakeholders, this article presents analytical methods for MTBE and related analytes for state and federal LUST programs.
- Analytical Methods for Fuel Oxygenates (PDF) (8 pp, 474K, About PDF) 2002.
Published in L.U.S.T. Line, a technical newsletter for underground storage tank stakeholders, this article discusses issues relevant to the analysis of fuel oxygenates.
- Biodegradation and Inhibitory Effects of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) Added to Microbial Consortia (PDF) (9 pp, 420K, About PDF) Undated.
This paper presents the results of research conducted at the University of Northern Iowa, in which the effect of MTBE added to carbon-limited microbial consortia on oxygen consumption and mineralization potential of hexadecane were examined.
- California MTBE Research Partnership Reports 2008.
This Web page presents a bibliography of downloadable reports related to treatment technologies for MTBE, prepared by the California MTBE Research Partnership.
- Chemical Fact Sheet CAS Number: 1634044 Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether Undated.
Prepared by Spectrum Laboratories, this fact sheet presents information on MTBE, including its properties, use, consumption, environmental fate, and impacts.
- Dissolution of MTBE from a Residually Trapped Gasoline Source (PDF) (10 pp, 245K, About PDF) 2003.
This paper presents the results of efforts by the American Petroleum Institute's Soil and Ground Water Technical Task Force to investigate the dissolution of MTBE relative to benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX) by advection of ground water through a source region containing residually trapped gasoline.
- Does Competitive Inhibition Play a Role in MTBE Bioremediation? (PDF) (2 pp, 104K, About PDF) 2003.
Prepared by Regenesis Bioremediation Products, Inc., this report presents the results of a series of laboratory experiments conducted to determine the effect of background hydrocarbons on MTBE degradation.
- Effect of BTEX on Degradation of MTBE and TBA by Mixed Bacterial Consortium 2002.
Published in the Journal of Environmental Engineering, this paper explores the effect of BTEX on MTBE and TBA degradation.
- Enhancement of Fuel Oxygenate (MTBE) Biodegradation Potential in Groundwater (PDF) (92 pp, 1.7MB, About PDF) 2001.
Published in Montana Water Resources Research Center's 2001 Annual Technical Report, this paper explores the biodegradation of MTBE in ground water.
- Enrichment of Stable Carbon and Hydrogen Isotopes during Anaerobic Biodegradation of MTBE: Microcosm and Field Evidence 2005.
Published in Environmental Science & Technology, this paper presents research on the use of compound-specific stable isotope analysis as a useful alternative to conventional practice in the evaluation of biodegradation of organic contaminants in ground water.
- Enrichment, Isolation and Identification of MTBE-Degrading Bacteria (PDF) (16 pp, 273K, About PDF) 2000.
Published in Underground Tank Technology Update, a publication of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this report assesses the potential for MTBE biodegradation at a gasoline release site in Montana and identifies MTBE-degrading microbial consortia and/or bacterial species present.
- Environmental Behavior and Fate of MTBE 1998.
Published by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water Quality Assessment Program, this fact sheet provides detailed information on the fate and behavior of MTBE, including links to additional resources.
- Evaluation of Biodegradation and Dispersion as Natural Attenuation Processes of MTBE and Benzene at the Borden Field Site 1999.
Published in Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, this paper presents research results on degradation of MTBE and benzene at Canadian Forces Bases (CFB) Borden in Ontario, Canada.
- Evaluation of the Impact of Fuel Hydrocarbons and Oxygenates on Groundwater Resources 2004.
Published in Environmental Science & Technology, this paper presents the results of a study evaluating the potential for ground water resource contamination by fuel hydrocarbons and oxygenates, including TBA, TAME, DIPE, ETBE, and MTBE. Occurrence, distribution, and spatial extent in ground water beneath LUSTs are discussed.
- Fate of MTBE Relative to Benzene in a Gasoline-Contaminated Aquifer (1993-98) 1998.
Published in Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation, this paper presents the results of research on MTBE and benzene fate in a shallow sandy aquifer.
- Fate, Transport and Remediation of MTBE: Nancy E. Kinner Testimony before the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (PDF) (16 pp, 56K, About PDF) 2001.
In her testimony before the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Professor Nancy E. Kinner of New Hampshire University presents information on the fate, transport, and remediation of MTBE.
- Guidelines for Investigation and Cleanup of MTBE and Other Ether-Based Oxygenates (PDF) (20 pp, 72K, About PDF) 2000.
Prepared by California's State Water Resource Control Board, this document provides guidance to California regulatory agencies on overseeing the investigation and cleanup of sites with MTBE contamination.
- Health and Environmental Assessment of MTBE 1998.
Prepared by the University of California at Davis, this Web page provides links to the five-volume report as well as related documents, including a fact sheet, press advisory, request for proposal (RFP), grant recipients, peer review comments, and author's responses to reviewer comments.
- Information on Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) Properties and Emissions Performance by Area and Season Undated.
These tables and graphs are based on EPA's analysis of data generated from surveys conducted by the RFG Survey Association, an association of refiners, importers, and blenders.
- Microbial Degradation and Fate in the Environment of Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether and Related Fuel Oxygenates 2001.
Published in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, this paper provides a review of current work related to the degradation and fate of MTBE and TBA.
- Monitored Natural Attenuation of Tertiary Butyl Alcohol (TBA) in Ground Water at Gasoline Spill Sites (PDF) (55 pp, 2.4MB, About PDF) 2007.
EPA produced this 2007 report which reviews the distribution of TBA in ground water at gasoline spill sites, the process of anaerobic MTBE biodegradation that produces TBA, and the possibility of natural biodegradation of TBA in ground water.
- MTBE: Is A Little Bit OK? (PDF) (14 pp, 119K, About PDF) 2007. EPA/600/R-07/100.
This article, prepared by EPA, answers questions on ground water impacts and costs related to MTBE content through the use of transport models, a known release scenario, and varying gasoline compositions.
- Simulation of Transport of Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) to Groundwater from Small-Volume Releases of Gasoline in the Vadose Zone (PDF) (8 pp, 190K, About PDF) 2000.
Published by the American Petroleum Institute, this paper presents the results of the use of a vadose-zone transport model in predicting mass fluxes (loading rates) and break-through times of MTBE and benzene at the water table resulting from releases.
- Stable Isotope Analysis of MTBE to Evaluate the Source of TBA in Ground Water 2005.
Published in Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation, this paper presents the results of research on biodegradation of MTBE.
- Summary of Available MTBE Aquatic Toxicity Data: February 1998 (PDF) (2 pp, 71K, About PDF) 1998.
This report provides a summary of MTBE aquatic toxicity data available in 1998 and a bibliography.
- Uptake of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) by Groundwater Solids 1997.
Published in Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, this paper presents the results of research on the sorptive and degradative characteristics of MTBE in soil/water systems.
- Using Direct Push Tools to Map Hydrostratigraphy and Predict MTBE Plume Diving (PDF) (10 pp, 1.0MB, About PDF) 2005.
Published in Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation, this report presents the results of a study in which techniques to predict the vertical extent of MTBE in an aquifer were evaluated at a diving plume of MTBE in East Alton, Illinois.
- Cowan, R.M., and K. Park. Biodegradation of the Gasoline Oxygenates MTBE, ETBE, TAME, TBA, and TAA by Aerobic Mixed Cultures. 1996. Proceedings of the 28th Mid Atlantic Industrial and Hazardous Waste Conference, Buffalo, New York, July 15-17, 1996. 523-530.
- Johnson, R., Pankow, J., Bender, D., Price, C., Zogorski, J. MTBE: To What Extent Will Past Releases Contaminate Community Water Supply Wells? 2000. Environmental Science & Technology, v. 34, no. 9, p. 210A-217A.
- Kolhatkar, R., J. Wilson, and L.E. Dunlap. Biodegradation of MTBE at Multiple UST Sites. 2000. In Review for the Proceedings of the Petroleum Hydrocarbons and Organic Chemicals in Ground Water: Prevention, Detection, and Remediation. Conference and Exposition, Anaheim, California, November 15-17, 2000.
- Small, M.C., and J. Weaver. An Updated Conceptual Model for Subsurface Fate and Transport of MTBE and Benzene. 1999. Proceedings of the 2000 Petroleum Hydrocarbons and Organic Chemicals in Ground Water: Prevention, Detection, and Remediation, Conference and Exposition, November 17-19, Houston, Texas, pages 209-220.
- Suidan, M.T., M. Esperanza, M. Zein, P. McCauley, R.C. Brenner, and A.D. Venosa. Kinetics of MTBE Biodegradation. Challenges in Biodegradation of Trace Organic Contaminants - Gasoline Oxygenates and Sex Hormones. Water Environment Research 77(1): 4-11. 2005.