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Potential contribution of microbial degradation to natural attenuation of MTBE in surface water systems

ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry, Preprints

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Abstract

The potential contribution of in situ biodegradation as a mechanism for natural attenuation of MTBE in surface water was studied. Surface water sediments from streams and lakes at 11 sites throughout the US. Microbial degradation of [U-14C] MTBE was observed in surface-water-sediment microcosms under anaerobic conditions, but the efficiency and products of anaerobic MTBE biodegradation were strongly dependent on the predominant terminal electron accepting conditions. In the presence of substantial methanogenic activity, MTBE biodegradation was nominal and involved reduction of MTBE to t-butanol (TBA). Under more oxidizing conditions, minimal accumulation of 14C-TBA and significant mineralization of [U-14C] MTBE to 14CO2 were observed. Microorganisms inhabiting the bed sediments of streams and lakes could degrade MTBE effectively under a range of anaerobic terminal electron accepting conditions. Thus, anaerobic bed sediment microbial processes also might contribute to natural attenuation of MTBE in surface water systems throughout the US. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 222nd ACS National Meting (Chicago, IL 8/26-30/2001).

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Potential contribution of microbial degradation to natural attenuation of MTBE in surface water systems
Series title:
ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry, Preprints
Volume
41
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry, Preprints
First page:
435
Last page:
438
Number of Pages:
4
Conference Title:
222nd ACS National Meeting
Conference Location:
Chicago, IL
Conference Date:
26 August 2001 through 30 August 2001