Possible Benefits of Replacing Methyl tert-Butyl Ether with Ethyl tert-Butyl Ether
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague
This report briefly informs about advantages and disadvantages of ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) as an additive to gasoline and about its biodegradability. This compound could substitute the most used tert-butyl methyl ether (MTBE), which has been repeatedly detected as a contaminant in groundwater, drinking water, rivers, air and snow. ETBE has similar properties to MTBE, but its manufacture is more expensive than that of MTBE. The main advantage of ETBE is its easier biodegradability compared with MTBE. The use of ETBE seems to involve no health risk; however, its properties and environmental consequences of its use must be checked.
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