For more information on MTBE Treatment, please contact:Linda Fiedler
Technology Assessment Branch
PH: (703) 603-7194 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE)
Detection and Site Characterization
- Policy and Guidance
- Chemistry and Behavior
- Environmental Occurrence
- Detection and Site Characterization
- Treatment Technologies
- Conferences and Seminars
- Additional Resources
The purpose of this section is to identify analytical and sampling methods commonly used for detecting, measuring, and/or monitoring MTBE that are available on line. The intent is not to provide an exhaustive list of analytical methods, but to identify well-established, standard methods, particularly those used for environmental samples and approved by EPA. Check the National Environmental Methods Index (NEMI) to identify methods for MTBE not cited on this page. NEMI is a free, searchable clearinghouse of methods and procedures for regulatory and non-regulatory analyses.
MTBE behaves differently than other gasoline constituents when released into the environment, which means a remedial investigation may need to be modified to properly characterize the area of MTBE contamination. MTBE's relatively high solubility allows it to dissolve into the ground water in "pulses" that result in rapid orders-of-magnitude changes in ground-water concentrations. These pulses, which possibly are caused by the infiltration of rain water or rising ground-water levels, may necessitate frequent ground-water sampling to determine actual MTBE concentrations and levels of risk to downgradient receptors. The frequency of sampling should be determined based on the velocity of the ground water and the number of monitoring wells.
MTBE Fact Sheet #2: Remediation of MTBE Contaminated Soil and Groundwater
U.S. EPA, Office of Underground Storage Tanks. EPA 510-F-97-015, 5 pp, 1998.
Analytical Methodologies for Fuel Oxygenates. Underground Storage Tanks Fact Sheet
U.S. EPA, Office of Underground Storage Tanks.
EPA 510-F-03-001, 2 pp, 2003.
Analytical Methods for Gasoline Oxygenates: the DAI-GC/MS Method
Oregon Health & Science University, Center for Groundwater Research, Beaverton, OR, web site.
Determination of Methyl tert-Butyl Ether and tert-Butyl Alcohol in Water by Solid-Phase Microextraction/Head Space Analysis in Comparison to EPA Method 5030/8260B
Keun-Chan Oh and William T. Stringfellow.
LBNL-53866, 28 pp, 2003.
Contact: William T. Stringfellow, email@example.com
A Guide for Assessing Biodegradation and Source Identification of Organic Ground Water Contaminants Using Compound Specific Isotope Analysis (CSIA)
D. Hunkeler, R.U. Meckenstock, B. Sherwood-Lollar, T.C. Schmidt, and J.T. Wilson.
EPA 600-R-08-148, 82 pp, 2008
When organic contaminants are degraded in the environment, the ratio of stable isotopes often will change, and the extent of degradation can be recognized and predicted from the change in the ratio of stable isotopes. Recent advances in analytical chemistry make it possible to perform CSIA on dissolved organic contaminants, including TCE and MTBE, at concentrations in water that are near their regulatory standards. This text provides general recommendations on good practice for sampling, measurement, data evaluation, and interpretation in CSIA.
Measurement of Methyl-tert-Butyl-Ether (MTBE) in Raw Drinking Water
M.L. Davisson, C.J. Koester, J.E. Moran.
UCRL-JC-131894, 9 pp, 1999.
Method 1615: Methyl tert-Butyl Ether
NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM®), 4th ed. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Publication 94-113, 4 pp, 1994.
Selecting Analytical Methods for the Determination of Oxygenates in Environmental Samples and
I. Rhodes and A. Verstuyft.
Environmental Testing & Analysis, 6 pp, March/April 2001.
Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Wastes: Physical/Chemical Methods, 3rd Edition
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, SW-846.
Method 5021A, Volatile Organic Compounds in Various Sample Matrices Using Equilibrium Headspace Analysis
Method 5030C, Purge-and-Trap for Aqueous Samples
Method 5035A, Closed-System Purge-and-Trap and Extraction for Volatile Organics in Soil and Waste Samples
Method 8015D, Nonhalogenated Organics Using GC/FID
Method 8021B, Aromatic and Halogenated Volatiles by Gas Chromatography Using Photoionization and/or Electrolytic Conductivity Detectors
Method 8260B, Volatile Organic Compounds by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)
U.S. Geological Survey Laboratory Method for Methyl tert-Butyl Ether and Other Fuel Oxygenates
Jon W. Raese, Donna L. Rose, and Mark W. Sandstrom.
U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-219-95, 1995.
Field Demonstration and Validation of a New Device for Measuring Water and Solute Fluxes, NASA LC-34 Site
Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), 172 pp, 2006
ESTCP passive flux meter (PFM) demonstration and validation projects include MTBE flux measurement at Port Hueneme, perchlorate flux at the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Indianhead, and TCE flux at NASA Launch Complex 34 at Cape Canaveral.
Field Demonstration and Validation of a New Device for Measuring Water and Solute Fluxes at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), Port Hueneme, CA: Revised Final Report (Version 2)
K. Hatfield, M.D. Annable, and P.S.C. Rao.
Environmental Security Technology Certification Program, NTIS: ADA468560, 113 pp, 2006
Ground-water and contaminant fluxes at NBVC were measured using passive flux meters (PFMs) at the leading edge of a MTBE plume. The objectives of the demonstration were to demonstrate the validity of the PFM and to compare flux measurements in wells reflecting different designs or construction techniques.
Mass Flux Toolkit to Evaluate Groundwater Impacts, Attenuation, and Remediation Alternatives
Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), 2006
To help site managers and site consultants estimate mass flux and understand the uncertainty in those estimates, ESTCP has funded the development of a computerized Mass Flux Toolkit, free software that gives site personnel the capability to compare different mass flux approaches, calculate mass flux from transect data, and apply mass flux to manage ground-water plumes. The toolkit spreadsheet and associated documentation are available on the ESTCP contractor's website in a zipped file.
Performance Comparison: Direct-Push Wells Versus Drilled Wells
C. Reeter, J. Fortenberry, E. Lory, M. Kram.
NFESC-TDS-2087-ENV, DTIC: ADA398555, 5 pp, 2001.
Contact: Chuck Reeter, firstname.lastname@example.org
A comparison between results from direct-push installed monitoring wells and drilled monitoring wells conducted on the leading edge of a methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) plume in a shallow semi-perched aquifer.
Site Characterisation in Support of Monitored Natural Attenuation of Fuel Hydrocarbons and MTBE in a Chalk Aquifer in Southern England
CL:AIRE Case Study Bulletin. CL:AIRE (Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments), London, UK. CSB1, 4 pp, 2002.
Contact: Dr. Steve Thornton, email@example.com, or Gary Wealthall, firstname.lastname@example.org
Strategies for Characterizing Subsurface Releases of Gasoline Containing MTBE
American Petroleum Institute, API Publication Number 4699, 116 pp, 2000.
User's Guide to the Collection and Analysis of Tree Cores to Assess the Distribution of Subsurface Volatile Organic Compounds
U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5088, 59 pp, 2008
Measurement and Monitoring Technologies for the 21st Century Initiative (21M2) Literature Search
Through the Measurement and Monitoring Technologies for the 21st Century initiative, EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) will identify and deploy promising measurement and monitoring technologies in response to waste management and site cleanup program needs by matching existing and emerging technologies with OSWER program and client needs.