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EFFECT OF BTEX ON THE DEGRADATION OF MTBE AND TBA BY MIXED BACTERIAL CONSORTIUM
SEDRAN, M. A., A. PRUDEN, G. J. WILSON, M. T. SUIDAN, AND A. D. VENOSA. EFFECT OF BTEX ON THE DEGRADATION OF MTBE AND TBA BY MIXED BACTERIAL CONSORTIUM. R.A. Ferrara (ed.), JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING DIVISION, ASCE. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Reston, VA, 128(9):830-835, (2002).
To examine the effect of BTEX on the degradation of MTBE and TBA, using a mixed bacterial culture enriched on MTBE and BTEX.
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 teatment is in situ or ex situ. In this study, the effect of BTEX on the degradation of MTBE and 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 very high similarity with PM1, a known MTBE degrader.