Around 95% of MTBE produced is used as an octane booster and oxygenate in gasoline. One of its major advantages is its good blending properties and for increasing the octane levels of lead-free gasoline. However, its use in reformulated gasoline has been phased out in the US due to environmental and health concerns.
MTBE can be employed in the petrochemicals industry to manufacture pure isobutene from C4 butane streams by reversing its formation reaction. It is a good solvent, used as a laboratory reagent to extract semi-volatile organic compounds from such sample types as leachates or solid wastes, and as a pharmaceutical agent to dissolve gallstones. Other outlets include the production of methacrolein and methyl methacrylate.
Exposure to MTBE can irritate the eyes, nose, skin and throat. It is extremely flammable.
To find out more Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Methodology September 2013