Determination of Methyl tert-Butyl Ether and tert-Butyl Alcohol in Water by Solid-Phase Microextraction/Head Space Analysis in Comparison to EPA Method 5030/8260B

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Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is now one of the most common groundwater contaminants in the United States. Groundwater contaminated with MTBE is also likely to be contaminated with tert-butyl alcohol (TBA), because TBA is a component of commercial grade MTBE, TBA can also be used as a fuel oxygenate, and TBA is a biodegradation product of MTBE. In California, MTBE is subject to reporting at concentrations greater than 3 {micro}g/L. TBA is classified as a ''contaminant of current interest'' and has a drinking water action level of 12 {micro}g/L. In this paper, we describe the development and optimization of a ... continued below

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28 pages

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Oh, Keun-Chan & Stringfellow, William T. September 9, 2003.

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Description

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is now one of the most common groundwater contaminants in the United States. Groundwater contaminated with MTBE is also likely to be contaminated with tert-butyl alcohol (TBA), because TBA is a component of commercial grade MTBE, TBA can also be used as a fuel oxygenate, and TBA is a biodegradation product of MTBE. In California, MTBE is subject to reporting at concentrations greater than 3 {micro}g/L. TBA is classified as a ''contaminant of current interest'' and has a drinking water action level of 12 {micro}g/L. In this paper, we describe the development and optimization of a simple, automated solid phase microextraction (SPME) method for the analysis of MTBE and TBA in water and demonstrate the applicability of this method for monitoring MTBE and TBA contamination in groundwater, drinking water, and surface water. In this method, the headspace (HS) of a water sample is extracted with a carboxen/polydimethylsiloxane SPME fiber, the MTBE and TBA are desorbed into a gas chromatograph (GC), and detected using mass spectrometry (MS). The method is optimized for the routine analysis of MTBE and TBA with a level of quantitation of 0.3 {micro}g/L and 4 {micro}g/L, respectively, in water. MTBE quantitation was linear for over two orders of concentration (0.3 {micro}g/L -80 {micro}g/L). TBA was found to be linear within the range of 4 {micro}g/L-7,900 {micro}g/L. The lower level of detection for MTBE is 0.03 {micro}g/L using this method. This SPME method using headspace extraction was found to be advantageous over SPME methods requiring immersion of the fiber into the water samples, because it prolonged the life of the fiber by up to 400 sample analyses. This is the first time headspace extraction SPME has been shown to be applicable to the measurement of both MTBE and TBA at concentrations below regulatory action levels. This method was compared with the certified EPA Method 5030/8260B (purge-and-trap/GC/MS) using split samples from laboratory bioreactors treating MTBE contaminated water and applied to environmental samples collected throughout the East Bay area of California. Results from the SPME-HS/GC/MS method were directly comparable to the EPA Method 5030/8260B. This method provides an simple, inexpensive, accurate, and sensitive alternative to EPA Method 5030/8260B for the analysis of MTBE and TBA in water samples.

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28 pages

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OSTI as DE00820662

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  • Other Information: PBD: 2 Oct 2003

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  • Report No.: LBNL--53866
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • DOI: 10.2172/820662 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 820662
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc740399

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • September 9, 2003

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  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • April 4, 2016, 12:38 p.m.

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Oh, Keun-Chan & Stringfellow, William T. Determination of Methyl tert-Butyl Ether and tert-Butyl Alcohol in Water by Solid-Phase Microextraction/Head Space Analysis in Comparison to EPA Method 5030/8260B, report, September 9, 2003; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc740399/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.