Methyl tert-butyl ether

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Methyl tert-butyl ether, also known as MTBE, tertiary butyl methyl ether or tBME is an organic compound with molecular formula (CH3)3COCH3.

Properties

Chemical

MTBE will react with bromine.

Physical

MTBE is a volatile, flammable, and colorless liquid, poorly soluble in water.

Availability

MTBE is available as a gasoline additive.

Preparation

MTBE is produced by reacting methanol with isobutylene. It can also be synthesized by reacting tert-butanol with methyl iodide.

Projects

  • Organic extractions
  • Anti-knocking agent

Handling

Safety

Unlike most ethers, MTBE has a reduced tendency to form explosive organic peroxides. Opened bottles of diethyl ether or THF can build up dangerous levels of these peroxides in months, whereas samples of MTBE are usually safe for years.

Storage

As MTBE doesn't form explosive organic peroxides, no special storage is required. Bottles containing MTBE should be kept in a cold place, away from any heat or fire source.

Disposal

MTBE can be safely burned. However, it must never dumped in the environment.

References

Relevant Sciencemadness threads