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Water environment research : a research publication of the Water Environment Federation

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) degradation by ferrous ion-activated persulfate oxidation: feasibility and kinetics studies.


PMID 19691249

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using ferrous ion-activated persulfate oxidation to remediate groundwater contaminated with methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE). In this study, batch experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of various factors on the efficiency of MTBE degradation including persulfate concentrations, ferrous ion concentrations, and persulfate coupled with hydrogen peroxide. Results show that ferrous ion-activated persulfate oxidation was capable of degrading MTBE efficiently. Persulfate and ferrous ion concentrations correlated with MTBE degradation rates. However, excess addition of ferrous ion resulted in decreased MTBE degrading rates most likely because of competition for sulfate free radicals between ferrous ion and MTBE. Two main byproducts of MTBE degradation, tert-butyl formate and tert-butyl alcohol, were detected in the experiments; both were, however, subsequently degraded. Results of sulfate analysis show that proper addition of ferrous ion could prevent unnecessary persulfate decomposition.

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