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The effect of hydrogen peroxide on the degradation of methyl and ethyl tert-butyl ether in soils

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Abstract:

The degradation of the gasoline oxygenates, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) in soil systems was evaluated. The data indicated that MTBE and ETBE were chemically oxidized to tertiary butanol and acetone when H2O2 was added to soil microcosms containing aquifer material from an organic rich site. Identical reactions were observed when H2O2 was added to solutions containing soluble ferrous iron and either MTBE or ETBE. Chemical oxidation was influenced by the H2O2 concentration, pH, and the presence of ferrous iron but was independent of the iron concentration. Naturally occurring aerobic microcosms in the soil were able to degrade ETBE but not MTBE. Chemical oxidation coupled with an aerobic-anaerobic-biological cycle is proposed to describe a degradation pathway for ETBE in H2O2 amended soils.

Keywords: BIODEGRADATION; ETHERS; FENTON'S REAGENT; HYDROGEN PEROXIDE; OXIDATION; SOIL

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143095X131754

Publication date: July 1, 1995

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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