[quote="manualman, post:15, topic:205052"]
Life is rarely as simple as the internet would have you believe. The methanol based oxygenate called MTBE for short was used for a number of years as a means of addressing air pollution. Brutal experience taught us in the engineering field that it was a HORRIBLE idea. Plain gasoline, when it leaks from an underground storage tank (and virtually all of them eventually do. Today's double wall containment ones haven't leaked much YET, but give them time...), is still insoluble in water AND floats on top. The contamination plume in the soil and groundwater is relatively easy to locate, isolate, capture and remove.
When gas with MBTE leaks, the MBTE is soluble in water and a tiny amount makes groundwater toxic. Since it doesn't float and is soluble there is quite simply no viable way to clean it up. A leaky tank destroys the viability of groundwater for GENERATIONS. Ethanol has comparatively little toxicity, so it is FAR better with our existing gas station system of fueling this country. Not so simple, eh?
As for the guy who feels better that the spills will occur elsewhere, nice attitude. Google NIMBY. Unless y'all are pedaling to work everyday that's a pretty poor attitude.
Nice word spinning.
No such thing as clean energy. Or clean anything. What's the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? No clean anything. If you want clean, then collect your own personal waste products and save them instead of inflicting them on other people.
Oil gets drilled for; and oil gets transported. Drilling is better and cleaner than transporting. AND sometimes, oil just happens to leak from the ground. By itself. If you can collect and use it, then it's not a problem; if it makes a mess, then it is a problem.
Let's get back to chemistry. Basic stuff.
First, MTBE is NOT methanol. Different thing.
MTBE is manufactured ... via the chemical reaction of methanol and isobutylene. MTBE is not a mixture. It is a manufactured product.
Methanol and ethanol are both alcohols.
Since 1992, MTBE has been used at higher concentrations in some gasoline to fulfill the oxygenate requirements set by the United States Congress in Clean Air Act amendments; however, since 1999, in California and other locations MTBE has begun to be phased out because of groundwater contamination. Due to its higher solubility in water MTBE moves more quickly than other fuel components. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 reduces the federal requirement for oxygen content in reformulated gasoline.
methyl tert-butyl ether
In 2000, the U.S. government banned adding MTBE to gasoline.
This is interesting: Wiki said this "Most American gasoline retailers have ceased using MTBE as an oxygenate and US production has declined. " In fact, the Feds banned it.
MTBE is almost exclusively used as a fuel component in engine gasoline. It is one of a group of chemicals commonly known as oxygenates because they raise the oxygen content of gasoline. Which was a Federal government requirement.
According to Wiki:
In 1995 high levels of MTBE were unexpectedly discovered in the water wells of Santa Monica, California, and the U.S. Geological Survey reported detections. Subsequent U.S. findings indicate tens of thousands of contaminated sites in water wells distributed across the country. As per toxicity alone, MTBE is not classified as a hazard for the environment, but it imparts an unpleasant taste to water already at very low concentrations. The maximum contaminant level of MTBE in drinking water has not yet been established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The leakage problem is partially attributed to the lack of effective regulations for underground storage tanks, but spillage from overfilling is also a contributor. As an ingredient in unleaded gasoline, MTBE is the most water soluble component. When dissolved in groundwater, MTBE will lead the contaminant plume with the remaining components such as benzene and toluene following. Thus the discovery of MTBE in public groundwater wells indicates that the contaminant source was a gasoline release. Its criticism and subsequent decreased usage, some claim, is more a product of its easy detectability (taste) in extremely low concentrations (ppb) than its toxicity. The MTBE concentrations used in the EU (usually 1.0–1.6%) and allowed (maximum 5%) in Europe are lower than in California.