Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Ecosystems Research

EPA On-line Tools for Site Assessment Calculation

37 of 67

Temperature Dependence of MTBE, Benzene and Toluene Solubility

Temperature dependence in effective solubility is introduced through data on methyl tert-butyl ether (MBTE) and benzene solubilities over the range of 0oC to 40 oC. These data are drawn from Peters et al., 20021 and Montegomery, 19962

Some comments are needed on these data:

  1. The temperature-dependent effective solubility calculator still uses the assumptions concerning Raoult's law as used in the original calculator:
    • Mixture properties are approximated by the average properties of the fuel
    • Unitary activity coefficients
  2. Inconsistent solubility data reported in the scientific literature is the rule rather than the exception. As new or improved data become available the calculator will be updated.
  3. The MTBE solubilities from Peters et al., 2002, do not match the commonly used value of about 50 g/L at 25oC. The Peters et al., data do, however, roughly match two data points reported by Fischer et al., 20043 , and the value reported given in the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (Lide, 2000,4)
    Graph of MTBE solubility versus temperature showing decline in solubility with increasing temperature.
    The calculator uses the data points from Peters et al. (triangles) and linear interpolation to estimate the MTBE solubility. Other data that would more fully establish the temperature-dependent solubility of MTBE do not exist.
  4. The benzene data are taken from a larger list of contradictory data presented by Montegomery, but these (Stephens and Stephens, 1963)5 data were selected on the basis of their agreement with the reported solubility of benzene at 25oC.
    Graph of benzene solubility versus temperature showing modest increase in solubility with increasing temperature.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)6 has evaluated benzene data from many sources and prepared a set of recommended values or best values for temperatures from 0oC to 80oC. Over the range of 0oC to 25oC the IUPAC data and its ranges encompasses the Stephens and Stephens (1963) data. IUPAC, however, shows that the solubility of Benzene remains roughly constant over this range. The data point for 0oC is a "best" value rather a "recommeded" value, because of more uncertainty at 0oC. The following table shows the values and ranges plotted in the following graph

Temperature Lower 95% Confidence limit IUPAC Best or Recommended Values Upper 95% Confidence limit
mg/L mg/L mg/L
0oC 1372 1693 2013
5oC 1753 1803 1853
10oC 1743 1783 1823
15oC 1723 1763 1803
20oC 1733 1763 1793
25oC 1753 1773 1793
IUPAC data on benzene solubility showing the lower 95% confidence limit, recommended value, and upper 95% confidence limit.

Other sources of chemical data can be found on the ERD chemical properties page.


The IUPAC prepared data on toluene6 and prepared a set of best values for temperatures from 0oC to 60oC. The following table shows the ranges of values for toluene and lower and upper ranges. These data were judged to be of generally lower quality and only "best" values rather than "recommended" values were given.

Temperature Lower 95% Confidence limit IUPAC Best or Recommended Values Upper 95% Confidence limit
mg/L mg/L mg/L
0oC 660 690 720
5oC 620 630 640
10oC 550 590 630
20oC 540 570 600
25oC 510 530 550
IUPAC data on toluene solubility showing the lower value, best value, and upper value.


1Peters, U., F. Nierlich, M. Sakuth, and M. Laugier, 2002, Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether, Physical and Chemical Properties, Ullmanns Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Release 2003, 6th ed., VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Wiley, DOI, 10.1002/14356007.a16_543
2Montegomery, J.H., 1996, Groundwater Chemicals Desk Reference, 2nd ed., CRC Press, Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida, page 70-71.
3Fischer, A., M. Muller, J. Klasmeier, 2004, Determination of Henry's law constant for mthyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) at groundwater temperatures, Chemosphere, 54, 689-694.
4Lide, D.R., 2000, CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 81st ed., CRC Press, 2000, page 8-95.
5Stephen, H. and T. Stephen, 1963, Solubilities of Inorganic and Organic Compounds, Vol. 1., Macmillan, New York.
6Shaw, D.G., 1989, Solubility Data Series, Hydrocarbon with Water and Seawater, Part I: Hydrocarbons C5 to C7, Volume 37, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Pergamon PRess, Oxford.
Top ^
Home | Glossary | Notation | Links | References | Calculators

Contact Jim Weaver to ask a technical question on this material.

Jump to main content.