Six model column aquifers were prepared to study the pathways and kinetics of MTBE biodegradation under controlled conditions simulating aquifer conditions. The kinetics of MTBE degradation in these columns could not be quantified reliably from the decrease in MTBE concentration because the proportion of MTBE degraded was < 1%. The appearance of tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) was a more sensitive indicator of MTBE degradation, thus, TBA concentration data was used for the kinetic analyses. Mass balance calculations suggested that loss of MTBE was accompanied by stoichiometric conversion to TBA. The average half-lives for MTBE conversion to TBA were 2.7, 1.7, and 1.9 yr for Base Borden, Lake Erie, and New Jersey sediments, respectively.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)