text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
Discoveries
design element
Discoveries
Search Discoveries
About Discoveries
Discoveries by Research Area
Arctic & Antarctic
Astronomy & Space
Biology
Chemistry & Materials
Computing
Earth & Environment
Education
Engineering
Mathematics
Nanoscience
People & Society
Physics
 

Email this pagePrint this page
All Images

Discovery
Itís Elemental: Detecting Toxicity in a Controversial Fuel Additive

Back to article | Note about images

traffic on highway

The controversial fuel-additive MMT has been marketed in the U.S. since 1995. The health risks of widespread use of MMT remain unknown, however, because of insufficient knowledge of its combustion products.

Credit: Photos.com

 

Map indicating Dortmund, Germany

In a collaborative effort funded by NSF's Office of International Science and Engineering, Principal Investigator Dr. David Butcher of Western Carolina University teamed with Dr. Kay Niemax and Dr. Michail Bolshov from the University of Dortmund, Germany, to develop an efficient method for identifying and quantifying the combustion products of MMT.

Credit: S2N Media

 

Highway cloverleaf

MMT and its degradation products were detected effectively by the new instrumentation in spiked samples of gasoline, human urine and water. Should MMT be put into widespread use, the risk of human exposure via surface water and groundwater could prove significant given the fact that MMT is relatively stable in groundwater.

Credit: Photos.com

 

Chemical structure of compounds

Chemical structure of compounds detected by new instrumentation.

Credit: David J. Butcher

 

Experimental Arrangement for New HPLC-DLAAS Instrumentation

Experimental Arrangement for New HPLC-DLAAS Instrumentation. In an effort to improve upon existing analytical methods for detecting toxicity in the fuel-additive MMT, Dr. David Butcher and his German colleagues have developed a low-cost, versatile technique by combining high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with diode laser atomic absorption spectrometry (DLAAS).

Credit: David J. Butcher

 

David J. Butcher

Dr. David J. Butcher, Professor and Head Department of Chemistry and Physics, Western Carolina University

Credit: David J. Butcher

 



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page