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Treatment of Tertiary-Butyl Alcohol Released from a Manufacturing Plant in New Jersey using a Biological Fluidized Bed Reactor

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Hercules, Inc.-Aqualon Company (Aqualon) manufactures Natrosol® at their Parlin, New Jersey site. The plant uses tertiary-butyl alcohol (TBA) during the manufacturing process. TBA has been detected in the groundwater moving underneath the plant and a nearby municipal well field. TBA is fully miscible in water, and does not readily biodegrade; as such, it is relatively recalcitrant once it enters the environment. Aqualon, with its consultants, extensively studied various methods to reduce the TBA contamination, including in-situ methods, and concluded that containing the plume using a series of recovery wells and treating the extracted groundwater using an ex-situ biological reactor was the most cost-effective method of reducing the TBA to meet the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's (NJDEP's) groundwater quality criteria (less than 100 parts per billion). This paper reports on this first-of-its-kind biological TBA removal system, discussing the design, commissioning, and operating results.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2008

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