ASTM D5441 - 98(2013)

    Standard Test Method for Analysis of Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) by Gas Chromatography

    Active Standard ASTM D5441 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.04.0L

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.02


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    ASTM D5441

    Significance and Use

    5.1 The presence of impurities in MTBE product can have a deleterious effect upon the value of MTBE as a gasoline additive. Oxygenate and olefin contents are of primary concern. This test method provides a knowledge of the composition of MTBE product. This is useful in the evaluation of process operations control, in the valuation of the product, and for regulatory purposes.

    5.2 Open tubular column gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector, used by the test method, is a technique that is sensitive to the contaminants commonly found in MTBE, and a technique that is widely used.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of the purity of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) by gas chromatography. It also provides a procedure to measure impurities in MTBE such as C4 to C12 olefins, methyl, isopropyl and tert-butyl alcohols, methyl sec-butyl and methyl tert-amyl ethers, acetone, and methyl ethyl ketone. Impurities are determined to a minimum concentration of 0.02 mass %.

    1.2 This test method is not applicable to the determination of MTBE in gasoline.

    1.3 Water cannot be determined by this test method and must be measured by a procedure such as Test Method D1364 and the result used to normalize the chromatographic values.

    1.4 A majority of the impurities in MTBE is resolved by the test method, however, some co-elution is encountered.

    1.5 This test method is inappropriate for impurities that boil at temperatures higher than 180°C or for impurities that cause poor or no response in a flame ionization detector, such as water.

    1.6 The values stated in SI (metric) units of measurement are preferred and used throughout the standard. Alternate units, in common usage, are also provided to improve clarity and aid the user of this test method.

    1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to consult and establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D1364 Test Method for Water in Volatile Solvents (Karl Fischer Reagent Titration Method)

    D3700 Practice for Obtaining LPG Samples Using a Floating Piston Cylinder

    D4057 Practice for Manual Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D4307 Practice for Preparation of Liquid Blends for Use as Analytical Standards

    D4626 Practice for Calculation of Gas Chromatographic Response Factors

    E355 Practice for Gas Chromatography Terms and Relationships

    E594 Practice for Testing Flame Ionization Detectors Used in Gas or Supercritical Fluid Chromatography


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 71.080.60 (Alcohols. Ethers)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 12352112(Ethers or its substitutes)


    DOI: 10.1520/D5441

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