SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

The potential effect of two common gasoline additives, ethanol and methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), on enhancing the solubility of the aromatic solutes benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and o-, m-, and p-xylene, was examined using a computer model, ARSOL. Aqueous solute systems containing cosolvents ethanol and MTBE at 0, 0.1, 1, and 4.3 percent were modeled for both ethanol and MTBE systems. Five- and 10-percent ethanol systems were also modeled. Little solubility enhancement was predicted by modeling at cosolvent levels less than 1 percent. At cosolvent levels greater than 1 percent, predicted solute solubility increased curvilinearly with an increase in percent cosolvent; a 10 percent cosolvent system increased aromatic hydrocarbon solubility by approximately 100 percent. According to the model predictions, MTBE enhanced solute solubility more than ethanol, with enhancement by MTBE being approximately 10 percent greater than enhancement by ethanol at 4.3 percent cosolvent. Other concerns regarding gasoline additives are the observed reduction in partitioning of solutes to soils and sediments and the contamination of water supplies due to the high water solubility of the additives.