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In-Situ Remediation of MTBE Contaminated Aquifers Using Propane Biosparging. Revision 1

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Final rept.

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The primary objectives of this ESTCP-funded project were 1 to demonstrate the safe application of propane biosparging i.e., biostimulation for in situ remediation of MTBE and 2 evaluate the ability of propane biosparging to reduce MTBE concentrations in a contaminated aquifers to below regulatory limits i.e., 5 gL. To meet this objective, several secondary objectives were identified as follows 1 perform microcosm testing to evaluate the ability of indigenous propane oxidizing bacteria andor other microorganisms to degrade MTBE 2 select and characterize a field demonstration site 3 use field characterization and microcosm study data to design, construct and operate a field demonstration system 4 evaluate performance of the treatment system during a 10-month treatment period and 5 evaluate the cost of applying the technology at full scale. Methyl tert-butyl ether MTBE has been used as a high-octane additive in mid- and high-grade gasoline since 1979, and to replace lead and other gasoline additives such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes BTEX. The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments required that in high pollution areas of the country, oxygenates be used in all grades of gasoline to encourage complete fuel combustion, thereby reducing vehicle emissions such as air toxics, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds. The goal of gasoline reformulation is to reduce gasolines benzene content by 33 and the other organics by at least 15. MTBE was selected as the oxygenate of choice to meet the new standards. In 1992, more than 1.8 billion gallons of MTBE went into gasoline, and its use has increased each year since. It accounts for up to 11 by volume of the reformulated gasoline product used by consumers, and now is added to 30 of the gasoline sold in the US. In 1995, 17.62 billion pounds of MTBE was produced primarily for use in gasoline, and its production and use has continued to increase.

Subject Categories:

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Water Pollution and Control

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