Phone: (712) 439-6880
Hours: 8 AM - 5 PM Central Time

MTBE & TBA in Water


MTBE: C5H12O Methyl tert-butyl ether is a chemical compound that is volatile, flammable, and colorless. Its presence in water at certain levels leads to an unpleasant taste and health concerns.

TBA: C4H9OH tert-Butanol is a clear liquid that is very soluble in water and occurs naturally as a product of fermentation. It has a camphor-like odor and also poses health concerns to humans and animals at high levels.

Water Column

Pictured to the right is the water column used for the test:


Lab Results

MTBE and TBA Removal with Ozone

For this test, 12 g/hr ozone concentration was bubbled into a 1.25 liter water column at 7% concentration by weight at a 2 LPM flow rate. Considering a 10% mass transfer rate, 1.2 g/hr ozone was dissolved into the water.


= 960 mg/l ozone dosage in a one hour time period.

Test Results


MTBE TBA Ozone Removal Chart

Data Table

Time (Minutes)MTBA (PPM)TBA (PPM)Acetone (PPM)Methyl (PPM)Ozone Dosage (mg/l)

* ND = not detectable (below 1 PPM)
** After 90 minutes the MTBE fell below the not detectable (ND) threshold of 1 PPM.


The spike in TBA at 45 minutes is likely the result of ozone breaking MTBE down into TBA. However, with time, the ozone also removed most of the TBA. It was informative to obtain data on both levels to observe this relationship.

Acetone and methyl acetate were both byproducts of the ozone reactions in this test. Over time, these compounds were also broke down.

Conclusion and Application

Ozone Solutions performed this test for a customer to verify that ozone would be effective in removing MTBE from water. The resulting data indicates that ozone was very effective in our lab testing. After this successful lab test, the data inspired an on-site pilot test with our WS-3010, which led to the eventual implementation of a pump and treat ozone remediation system.

Last Updated: April 18, 2012

The above information is from and is copyrighted by Ozone Solutions Inc.
Jump To TopOzone Solutions Inc. | (712) 439-6880Jump To Top

8 AM - 5 PM Central Time
Phone: (712) 439-6880
Toll Free: (888) 892-0303 (USA Only)
Fax: (712) 439-6733