American Society of Civil Engineers


Effect of BTEX on Degradation of MTBE and TBA by Mixed Bacterial Consortium


by Marie A. Sedran, (Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., ML 0071, Univ. of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0071), Amy Pruden, (Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., ML 0071, Univ. of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0071), Gregory J. Wilson, (Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., ML 0071, Univ. of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0071), Makram T. Suidan, (Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., ML 0071, Univ. of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0071. E-mail: makram.suidan@uc.edu), and Albert D. Venosa, (U.S. Envir. Protection Agency Natl. Risk Mgmt. Res. Lab., 26 W. Martin Luther King Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45268)

Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol. 128, No. 9, September 2002, pp. 830-835, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9372(2002)128:9(830))

     Access full text
     Purchase Subscription
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) contamination in groundwater often coexists with benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) near the source of the plume. Tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) is a prevalent intermediate of MTBE degradation. Therefore, there is a significant potential for interference of MTBE and TBA degradation by the presence of BTEX whether treatment is in situ or ex situ. In this study, the effect of BTEX on the degradation of MTBE adn TBA was examined using a mixed bacterial culture enriched on MTBE and BTEX. In batch studies, the presence of BTEX did not have a significant effect on MTBE degradation, but did have a slight effect on TBA degradation. Under continuous flow conditions, all compounds degraded simultaneously. Normalizing rates to the MTBE loading to the reactor indicates that BTEX may assist in the development of the biomass for TBA and overall MTBE degradation. Using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, several diverse organisms were identified, two of which showed verty high similarity with PM1, a known MTBE degrader.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Biological processes
Gasoline
Groundwater
Water treatment