Science Inventory

In Situ Biodegradation of MTBE and TBA


WILSON, J. T. In Situ Biodegradation of MTBE and TBA. Presented at NEIWPCC, Assessment and Remediation of Oxygenates and Other Fuel Components, Atlanta, GA, November 14 - 16, 2007.


Present information at the NEIWPCC, Assessment and Remediation of Oxygenates and Other Fuel Components


Ground water at most UST spills sites in Kansas contains both MTBE and benzene, and both contaminants must be effectively treated to close the sites. Soil vacuum extraction, and air sparging are common treatment technologies in Kansas. The technologies supply oxygen to support in situ biodegradation of the contaminants. To compare the relative performance of these technologies for treating MTBE as compared to benzene, the 166 sites in the Kansas UST trust fund were screened for sites that had initial concentrations of both MTBE and benzene above the reporting limit of 1 µg/L, and that had at least two rounds of analytical data. Of 166 sites reviewed, 66 sites met the criteria above. Sixteen of the sites have been closed or are ready to close. Of the 66 sites, 15 had met the clean-up goal for benzene, and 50 had met the goal for MTBE. The extent of treatment (C/Co) was greater for MTBE (significant at p = 0.032). The geometric mean of the extent of treatment was 0.057 for MTBE, compared to 0.14 for benzene. In Kansas, conventional technology supporting in situ biodegradation removed MTBE from the source areas of ground water plumes at least as effectively as they removed benzene.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 11/15/2007
Record Last Revised: 06/04/2009
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 187474