Data on the volumes of oxygenates and other compounds in gasoline are available from several sources collectively referred as gasoline surveys. The gasoline surveys provide the most definitive knowledge of which oxygenate, if any, and what volumes of that oxygenate are being used in various areas of the country. This information is important in water-quality assessments for relating the detection of MTBE in water to patterns of usage of MTBE in gasoline. General information on three surveys that have been conducted by the National Institute for Petroleum and Energy Research, the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association, and the EPA was presented. The samples were tested for physical properties and constituents including octane number, specific gravity, and volumes of olefins, aromatics, benzene, alcohols, and various ether oxygenates. The data in each survey had its own utility based on the type of assessment that is undertaken. Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. Using NAWQA data, the percent occurrence of MTBE in ground water in metropolitan areas that use substantial amounts of MTBE (> 5% by vol) was ??? 21%, compared to ??? 2% in areas that do not use substantial amounts of MTBE (< 5% by vol). When several other factors are considered in a logistic regression model including MTBE usage in RFG or OXY gasoline areas (??? 3% by vol) as a factor, a 4-6 fold increase in the detection frequency of MTBE in ground water was found when compared to areas that do not use MTBE or use it only for octane enhancement (< 3% by vol).
Additional publication details
Identifying the usage patterns of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and other oxygenates in gasoline using gasoline surveys