Add to MyChemicals Print Friendly Page
Chemical Datasheet

METHYL TERT-BUTYL ETHER

3 - Flammable liquid
Chemical Identifiers | Hazards | Response Recommendations | Physical Properties | Regulatory Information | Alternate Chemical Names

Chemical Identifiers

CAS Number - Chemical Abstracts Service registry number. Unique identification number assigned to this chemical by the American Chemical Society.

UN/NA Number - The United Nations-North America number (also called UN number or DOT number). 4-digit number identifying an individual chemical or group of chemicals with similar characteristics. Required on shipping papers; often shown on placards or labels. This numbering system was developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and then became the UN standard system for classifying hazardous materials.

DOT Hazard Label - U.S. Department of Transportation hazard warning label for the chemical (such as flammable liquid or corrosive). This label must be displayed on shipped packages, railroad tank cars, and tank trucks according to specifications described in 49 CFR 172.

CHRIS Code - 3-letter code used by the U.S. Coast Guard to identify individual chemicals included in its CHRIS (Chemical Hazards Response Information System) manual.

NFPA 704 - Text description of the diamond-shaped placard, which contains codes indicating the level of the chemical's health, flammability, and instability hazards, along with special hazards such as water- and air-reactivity. See a guide to the NFPA diamond.

General Description - Brief description of the chemical's general appearance, behavior, and hazardousness.

List of data sources.
CAS Number UN/NA Number DOT Hazard Label CHRIS Code
  • 1634-04-4   (METHYL TERT-BUTYL ETHER)
  • Flammable Liquid
NFPA 704
data unavailable
General Description
A colorless liquid with a distinctive anesthetic-like odor. Vapors are heavier than air and narcotic. Boiling point 131°F. Flash point 18°F. Less dense than water and miscible in water. Used as a octane booster in gasoline.

Hazards

Reactivity Alerts - Special alerts if the chemical is especially reactive (see list of reactivity alerts).

Air & Water Reactions - Special alerts if the chemical reacts with air, water, or moisture.

Fire Hazard - Description of the chemical's fire hazards (such as flammability, explosion risk, or byproducts that may evolve if the chemical is burned).

Health Hazard - Description of the chemical's health hazards (such as toxicity, flammability, or corrosivity).

Reactivity Profile - Description of the chemical's potential reactivity with other chemicals, air, and water. Also includes any other intrinsic reactive hazards (such as polymerizable or peroxidizable).

Reactive Groups - List of reactive groups that the chemical is assigned to, based on its known chemistry. Reactive groups are categories of chemicals that react in similar ways because their chemical structures are similar. Reactive groups are used to predict reactivity when you add a chemical to MyChemicals. Read more about reactive groups.

Potentially Incompatible Absorbents - Absorbents are products that can be used to soak up liquids from spills. However, some absorbents can react with particular chemicals (that is, they are incompatible), so caution should be used in selecting the correct absorbent for your situation. This section provides a list of potentially incompatible absorbents that have been known to react with liquids assigned to one or more of the reactive groups listed on this datasheet. Read more about absorbents, including situations to watch out for.

List of data sources.
Reactivity Alerts
Air & Water Reactions
Highly flammable. Oxidizes readily in air to form unstable peroxides that may explode spontaneously [Bretherick 1979. p.151-154, 164]. A mixture of liquid air and diethyl ether exploded spontaneously [MCA Case History 616. 1960].
Fire Hazard
Special Hazards of Combustion Products: May contain irritating and toxic gases.

Behavior in Fire: May be ignited by heat, sparks or flames. Containers may explode in heat of fire. Vapor explosion hazard indoors, outdoors, or in sewers. (USCG, 1999)
Health Hazard
INHALATION: May cause dizziness or suffocation. Contact may irritate or burn eyes or skin. May be harmful if swallowed. (USCG, 1999)
Reactivity Profile
Ethers, such as METHYL TERT-BUTYL ETHER, can act as bases. They form salts with strong acids and addition complexes with Lewis acids. The complex between diethyl ether and boron trifluoride is an example. Ethers may react violently with strong oxidizing agents. In other reactions, which typically involve the breaking of the carbon-oxygen bond, ethers are relatively inert.
Belongs to the Following Reactive Group(s)
Potentially Incompatible Absorbents

No information available.

Response Recommendations

Isolation and Evacuation - Isolation and evacuation distance recommendations from the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG).

Firefighting - Response recommendations if the chemical is on fire (or near a fire).

Non-Fire Response - Response recommendations if the chemical isn't on fire (or near a fire).

Protective Clothing - Recommendations for protective gear.

Dupont Tychem® Suit Fabrics - A table of normalized breakthrough times for DuPont Tychem suit fabrics for the chemical, if available.

First Aid - Recommended first aid treatment for people exposed to the chemical.

List of data sources.
Isolation and Evacuation
Excerpt from GUIDE 127 [Flammable Liquids (Polar / Water-Miscible)]:

As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area for at least 50 meters (150 feet) in all directions.

LARGE SPILL: Consider initial downwind evacuation for at least 300 meters (1000 feet).

FIRE: If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions. (ERG, 2012)
Firefighting
Excerpt from GUIDE 127 [Flammable Liquids (Polar / Water-Miscible)]:

CAUTION: All these products have a very low flash point: Use of water spray when fighting fire may be inefficient.

SMALL FIRE: Dry chemical, CO2, water spray or alcohol-resistant foam.

LARGE FIRE: Water spray, fog or alcohol-resistant foam. Do not use straight streams. Move containers from fire area if you can do it without risk.

FIRE INVOLVING TANKS OR CAR/TRAILER LOADS: Fight fire from maximum distance or use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles. Cool containers with flooding quantities of water until well after fire is out. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety devices or discoloration of tank. ALWAYS stay away from tanks engulfed in fire. For massive fire, use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles; if this is impossible, withdraw from area and let fire burn. (ERG, 2012)
Non-Fire Response
Excerpt from GUIDE 127 [Flammable Liquids (Polar / Water-Miscible)]:

ELIMINATE all ignition sources (no smoking, flares, sparks or flames in immediate area). All equipment used when handling the product must be grounded. Do not touch or walk through spilled material. Stop leak if you can do it without risk. Prevent entry into waterways, sewers, basements or confined areas. A vapor suppressing foam may be used to reduce vapors. Absorb or cover with dry earth, sand or other non-combustible material and transfer to containers. Use clean non-sparking tools to collect absorbed material.

LARGE SPILL: Dike far ahead of liquid spill for later disposal. Water spray may reduce vapor; but may not prevent ignition in closed spaces. (ERG, 2012)
Protective Clothing
Wear goggles, self-contained breathing apparatus, rubber gloves, boots and overclothing. (USCG, 1999)
DuPont Tychem® Suit Fabrics
Tychem® Fabric Legend
QC = Tychem QC
SL = Tychem SL
TF = Tychem F
TP = Tychem ThermoPro
C3 = Tychem CPF 3
BR = Tychem BR
LV = Tychem LV
RC = Tychem Responder® CSM
TK = Tychem TK
RF = Tychem Reflector®
Testing Details
Permeation data obtained per ASTM F739. Normalized breakthrough times (the time at which the permeation rate is equal to 0.1 µg/cm2/min) reported in minutes. All liquid chemicals have been tested between approximately 20°C and 27°C unless otherwise stated. All chemicals have been tested at a concentration of greater than 95% unless otherwise stated. Chemical warfare agents (Lewisite, Sarin, Soman, Sulfur Mustard, Tabun and VX Nerve Agent) have been tested at 22°C and 50% relative humidity per military standard MIL-STD-282.
Normalized Breakthrough Times (in Minutes)
Chemical CAS Number State QC SL TF TP C3 BR LV RC TK RF
Methyl tert-butyl ether 1634-04-4 Liquid >480 >480 >480 >480 >480 >480 >480 >480 >480
> indicates greater than.
A blank cell indicates the fabric has not been tested. The fabric may or may not offer barrier.

Special Warnings from DuPont

  1. Serged and bound seams are degraded by some hazardous liquid chemicals, such as strong acids, and should not be worn when these chemicals are present.
  2. CAUTION: This information is based upon technical data that DuPont believes to be reliable. It is subject to revision as additional knowledge and experience are gained. DuPont makes no guarantee of results and assumes no obligation or liability...
    ... in connection with this information. It is the user's responsibility to determine the level of toxicity and the proper personal protective equipment needed. The information set forth herein reflects laboratory performance of fabrics, not complete garments, under controlled conditions. It is intended for informational use by persons having technical skill for evaluation under their specific end-use conditions, at their own discretion and risk. Anyone intending to use this information should first verify that the garment selected is suitable for the intended use. In many cases, seams and closures have shorter breakthrough times and higher permeation rates than the fabric. Please contact DuPont for specific data. If fabric becomes torn, abraded or punctured, or if seams or closures fail, or if attached gloves, visors, etc. are damaged, end user should discontinue use of garment to avoid potential exposure to chemical. Since conditions of use are outside our control, we make no warranties, express or implied, including, without limitation, no warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular use and assume no liability in connection with any use of this information. This information is not intended as a license to operate under or a recommendation to infringe any patent or technical information of DuPont or others covering any material or its use.

(DuPont, 2013)

First Aid
INHALATION: Move victim to fresh air; call emergency medical care. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen.

EYES OR SKIN: Flush with running water for at least 15 minutes; hold eyelids open if necessary. Remove and isolate contaminated clothing and shoes at the site. Keep victim quiet and maintain normal body temperature.

INGESTION: If victim is unconscious or having convulsions, do nothing except keep victim warm. (USCG, 1999)

Physical Properties

This section contains physical properties, flammability limits, and toxic thresholds for this chemical (see definitions of each property). More property data is available for common chemicals.

See also the Levels of Concern guide for information on AEGLs, ERPGs, PACs, and IDLH values.

List of data sources.
Chemical Formula:
  • C5H12O
Flash Point: -14 ° F (USCG, 1999)
Lower Explosive Limit (LEL): data unavailable
Upper Explosive Limit (UEL): data unavailable
Autoignition Temperature: data unavailable
Melting Point: -164.2 ° F (USCG, 1999)
Vapor Pressure: data unavailable
Vapor Density (Relative to Air): data unavailable
Specific Gravity: 0.7405 at 68.0 ° F (USCG, 1999)
Boiling Point: 131.4 ° F at 760.0 mm Hg (USCG, 1999)
Molecular Weight: 88.15 (USCG, 1999)
Water Solubility: data unavailable
IDLH: data unavailable

AEGLs (Acute Exposure Guideline Levels)

Interim AEGLs for Methyl-tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) (1634-04-4)
Exposure Period AEGL-1 AEGL-2 AEGL-3
10 minutes 50 ppm 1400 ppm 13000 ppm 2-flame icon indicates value is 50-99% of LEL. Extreme safety consideration against explosions must be taken into account.
30 minutes 50 ppm 800 ppm 7500 ppm 1-flame icon indicates value is 10-49% of LEL. Safety consideration against explosions must be taken into account.
60 minutes 50 ppm 570 ppm 5300 ppm 1-flame icon indicates value is 10-49% of LEL. Safety consideration against explosions must be taken into account.
4 hours 50 ppm 400 ppm 2700 ppm 1-flame icon indicates value is 10-49% of LEL. Safety consideration against explosions must be taken into account.
8 hours 50 ppm 400 ppm 1900 ppm 1-flame icon indicates value is 10-49% of LEL. Safety consideration against explosions must be taken into account.
Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) = 16000
1-flame icon indicates value is 10-49% of LEL. Safety consideration against explosions must be taken into account.
2-flame icon indicates value is 50-99% of LEL. Extreme safety consideration against explosions must be taken into account.
(NAC/NRC, 2013)

ERPGs (Emergency Response Planning Guidelines)

Chemical ERPG-1 ERPG-2 ERPG-3
Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) (1634-04-4) 50 ppm star-in-circle icon indicates that odor should be detectable near ERPG-1. 1000 ppm 5000 ppm 1-flame icon indicates value is 10-49% of LEL. LEL = 16000 ppm
star-in-circle icon indicates that odor should be detectable near ERPG-1.
1-flame icon indicates value is 10-49% of LEL.
(AIHA, 2013)

PACs (Protective Action Criteria)

Chemical PAC-1 PAC-2 PAC-3
Methyl tert-butyl ether; (MTBE) (1634-04-4) 50 ppm 570 ppm 5300 ppm 1-flame icon indicates value is 10-49% of LEL. LEL = 16000 ppm
1-flame icon indicates value is 10-49% of LEL.
(SCAPA, 2012)

Regulatory Information

This section contains regulatory information from the Title III Consolidated List of Lists (see details about each regulatory field).

List of data sources.
Regulatory Name CAS Number/
313 Category Code
EPCRA 302
EHS TPQ
EPCRA 304
EHS RQ
CERCLA RQ EPCRA 313
TRI
RCRA
Code
CAA 112(r)
RMP TQ
Methyl tert-butyl ether 1634-04-4 1000 313

(EPA List of Lists, 2012)

Alternate Chemical Names

This section provides a listing of alternate names for this chemical, including trade names and synonyms.