This study evaluated the ability of the glow discharge plasma (GDP) technique to degrade methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in an aqueous solution. The results showed that a large amount of hydrogen peroxide and highly active OH free radicals were produced during the treatment. Various experimental parameters including discharge current, initial MTBE concentration and initial pH played significant roles on MTBE degradation. In addition, Fe2+ had a catalytic effect on the degradation of MTBE, which is potentially attributable to the reaction between Fe3+ and the hydrated electron. It was also confirmed that GDP was comparable to electrocatalytic oxidation and high-density plasma and more efficient than photocatalytic degradation techniques. These results suggest that GDP may become a competitive MTBE wastewater treatment technology.

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