Development of a method for extraction of methyl tert-Butyl (MTBE) from soil samples

D. Lefkowitz, M. Zambrowski, C. Uchrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) is ubiquitous in both ground and surface waters in the United States, and it can also be found in many unsaturated soil systems. Until recently, MTBE was not thought to adsorb appreciably to soil solids. MTBE, however, will adsorb to some soil types, and additionally, can be found in both soil water and soil gas. Since sorbed MTBE can serve as a long term, low level, source to water systems, a practical method for quantifying soil concentrations is needed to fully understand the environmental impact of MTBE. In this paper, we examine the analytical parameters critical to MTBE extraction methods, including extraction solvent and gas chromatograph characteristics. As the result, we have discovered toluene to be an effective solvent (exhibiting adequate recovery and excellent separation from MTBE) using a GC/FID with Suppelcowax column.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering


  • Adsorption
  • Extraction
  • Groundwater
  • MTBE
  • Partitioning
  • Soil
  • Toluene


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