MTBE and TBA Removal with Ozone

Posted by Ozone Solutions on 20th Oct 2021

MTBE & TBA Removal with Ozone


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.

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.

Test Results

* ND = not detectable (below 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 broken down.

Conclusion & 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.