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Detection of Methyl tert-butyl Ether (MTBE) in Gasoline Fuel using FTIR: ATR spectroscopy

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Physics, Mizoram University, Aizawl, Mizoram, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 4, Issue (12), Pages 65-68, December,22 (2015)


Methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) is the primary oxygenate additive used in gasoline fuel in compliance with the Clean Air Act requirements to reduce emission level of spark ignited automotive engines. However, MTBE is also classified as a possible carcinogen and there have been several cases where the compound is found to contaminate soil and ground water through its used as oxygenate in fuel. Therefore in the present work gasoline samples collected from different filling stations in Aizawl were analyzed for the presence of MTBE using Fourier Transform Infrared Attenuated Total Reflectance (FTIR-ATR) spectroscopy in the mid IR region. Out of 14 samples tested one sample is found to contain MTBE. The presence of the oxygenate in gasoline is identified from its distinct IR absorption bands at 1203, 1085 and 852 cm-1 due to the CC and CO vibrational modes of the molecule. IR mode assignment of gasoline fuel in the 650-3750 cm-1 region is also discussed and presented.


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