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MTBE Removal from Drinking Water

Award Information

Environmental Protection Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Compact Membrane Systems, Inc.
335 Water Street Newport, DE 19804-2410
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: MTBE Removal from Drinking Water
Agency: EPA
Contract: 68-D-01-014
Award Amount: $70,000.00


The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act mandated the incorporation of oxygenates into gasoline in ozone and carbon monoxide nonattainment areas. Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is the oxygenate of choice due to economic and supply considerations. Despite federal and state programs to improve handling of gasoline and other fuels in pipelines, underground and above-ground storage tanks, and other transport modes, gasoline spills and leaks still are relatively commonplace. In addition, uncombusted gasoline is spilled from boats and recreational equipment directly to surface waters, which may serve as water supply reservoirs. The result is that MTBE is the second most frequently detected volatile organic compound in shallow groundwater (Squillace, et al., 1996), based on the National Water Quality Assessment Program. There is concern that MTBE can have deleterious health effects and may cause ecological damage. Studies indicate that if water supplies are not treated, a significant percentage of the population may be exposed to levels that can cause health effects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently has proposed the removal of MTBE from fuels to help reduce the existing MTBE/water problem. However, new innovative treatment methods or techniques are required to improve the performance of existing drinking water treatment plants for removal of MTBE and other oxygenates. There is a need for innovative treatments in small, medium, and large water treatment plants. In most cases, these plants already exist, and a preferred solution is a retrofit into existing facilities.

Principal Investigator:

Business Contact:

Stuart Nemser
Small Business Information at Submission:

Compact Membrane Systems, Inc
325 Water Street Wilmington, DE 19804

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No