Soil samples were washed with dilute solutions of the toxic anti-knock fuel additive methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) in hexanes and commercial unleaded gasoline. Diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) was then used to detect the <i>v</i>(CO) modes of MMT, and subsequently <sup>13</sup>CO-enriched MMT, in the soil samples. The presence of MMT in the soils was further confirmed by mass spectrometry. Concentrations corresponding to ~10 ppm Mn in soil could be detected by DRIFTS of the dry samples, and, most interestingly, there was no evidence of significant MMT decomposition over a period of eight months. Apparently, MMT is stabilized by physisorption onto the soils. In the absence of such stabilization, however, MMT undergoes photolytic and thermal decomposition in a matter of minutes. These results suggest the possibility of longer-term environmental problems associated with gasoline spills containing MMT than was previously suspected.

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