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Aerobic mineralization of MTBE and tert-butyl alcohol by stream-bed sediment microorganisms

Environmental Science and Technology

By:
, ,
DOI: 10.1021/es990062t

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Abstract

Microorganisms indigenous to the stream-bed sediments at two gasoline- contaminated groundwater sites demonstrated significant mineralization of the fuel oxygenates, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and tert-butyl alcohol (TBA). Up to 73% of [U-14C]-MTBE and 84% of [U-14C]-TBA were degraded to 14CO2 under mixed aerobic/anaerobic conditions. No significant mineralization was observed under strictly anaerobic conditions. The results indicate that, under the mixed aerobic/anaerobic conditions characteristic of stream-bed sediments, microbial processes may provide a significant environmental sink for MTBE and TBA delivered to surface water bodies by contaminated groundwater or by other sources.Microorganisms indigenous to the stream-bed sediments at two gasoline-contaminated groundwater sites demonstrated significant mineralization of the fuel oxygenates, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and tert-butyl alcohol (TBA). Up to 73% of [U-14C]-MTBE and 84% of [U-14C]-TBA were degraded to 14CO2 under mixed aerobic/anaerobic conditions. No significant mineralization was observed under strictly anaerobic conditions. The results indicate that, under the mixed aerobic/anaerobic conditions characteristic of stream-bed sediments, microbial processes may provide a significant environmental sink for MTBE and TBA delivered to surface water bodies by contaminated groundwater or by other sources.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Aerobic mineralization of MTBE and tert-butyl alcohol by stream-bed sediment microorganisms
Series title:
Environmental Science and Technology
DOI:
10.1021/es990062t
Volume
33
Issue:
11
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
ACS
Publisher location:
Washington, DC, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Science and Technology
First page:
1877
Last page:
1879
Number of Pages:
3