Biodegradability of methyl tert-butyl ether and tert-butyl alchohol Academic Article uri icon


  • Uncertainty regarding a continued reliance on biological processes for remediation at gasoline-contaminated sites has increased over the past several years due to the addition of methyl terf-butyl ether (MTBE) to gasoline and its subsequent discovery in groundwater. Contrary to early reports of MTBE and TBA (tert-butyl alcohol) recalcitrance, a review of the recent literature and of on-going studies suggests that both compounds are degradable by a wide range of microorganisms. The objectives of this manuscript are to provide a brief review of laboratory and field studies addressing MTBE and TBA biodegradation, and to evaluate the current understanding of the factors that could limit their bioattenuation in the environment.

published proceedings

  • ACS Symposium Series

author list (cited authors)

  • Deeb, R. A., Stocking, A., Alvarez-Cohen, L., & Kavanaugh, M. C.

complete list of authors

  • Deeb, RA||Stocking, A||Alvarez-Cohen, L||Kavanaugh, MC

publication date

  • December 2002