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Low concentrations (1-2 mg/L) of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in water were treated using Fenton's reagent (FR), in a laboratory study in the absence of light and under reduced concentrations of oxygen (< 1%), simulating the conditions found in groundwater aquifers. The overall treatment efficiency was investigated. The study included assessment of the by-products formed during the reaction and the evaluation of the effect of the following process conditions: MTBE initial concentration, FR:MTBE molar ratio, and pH of the contaminated water. When a molar ratio FR:MTBE of 100:1 was used, a degradation of more than 99% of the initial MTBE concentration was achieved in just 30 seconds, and 100% after 60 min of reaction. Nevertheless, complete MTBE mineralization was not achieved in any case, and tert-butyl formate (TBF), tert-butyl alcohol (TBA), methyl acetate and acetone were detected and quantified as the most important byproducts. The highest extent of MTBE degradation was observed at pH of 3.6.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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