Photodegradation of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) vapor with immobilized titanium dioxide

Sang Eun Park, Hyunku Joo, Joon Wun Kang

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21 Citations (Scopus)


A study on the photocatalytic degradation of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) vapor was performed with respect to reaction parameters, kinetics, and mechanism. A conventional TiO2-coated plate system was used for this initial work on vaporized MTBE. On irradiating with UVBLB (∼5mW/cm 2), 0.6mg/cm2 of TiO2 (P25) photocatalyst showed the highest reaction rate (0.85 μmol/min) for 25.76μmole of MTBE (1000 ppmv). The numerical values obtained depended predictably with respect to light intensity, initial concentration, and quantity of P25. The photocatalytic degradation of MTBE followed Lanmuir-Hinshelwood kinetics with a linearity of 0.989. As far as the mechanism of degradation is concerned, attack by generated hydroxyl radicals on the methoxy group in the MTBE structure dominated and proceeded through tert-butyl formate (TBF) as an intermediate, instead of methyl group to proceed through producing 2-methoxy-2-methyl propionaldehyde (MMP). TBF finally degrades to CO2 through acetone, which was shown easily converted to CO2. This study shows that the use of sunlight seems to be possible given adequate tools for concentrating the light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-84
Number of pages12
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Oct 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The financial support from the Korea Ministry of Environment under the “Eco-technopia 21” project scheme is gratefully acknowledged.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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