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CHEMICAL DEGRADATION OF METHYL TERT-BUTYL ETHER (MTBE) BY FENTON REAGENT

by BURBANO, ARTURO ANTONIO

Abstract (Summary)
The fundamentals of the degradation of Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) in aqueous solution using Fenton Reagent (FR) were investigated. Initial MTBE concentrations of 1.0 and 2.0 mg?L were treated with FR in batch reactors, in order to establish the extent of degradation and?or mineralization in a one-hour reaction period. The selected MTBE concentrations as well as other reaction conditions such as reduced concentrations of dissolved oxygen (DO<0.01mg?L) and absence of light, were used in order to simulate some of the actual conditions found in MTBE-contaminated aquifers. When using an initial [FR]:[MTBE] molar ratio of 10:1 and pH of approximately 3.0, the extent of MTBE degradation at the end of one hour was significantly higher (i.e., 90-99&per;) than its mineralization (i.e, 31.7&per;max.). Tert-butyl formate (TBF), tert-butyl alcohol (TBA), acetone and methyl acetate were identified and quantified as the major reaction intermediates. pH was a critical variable of this process. Experiments at acidic pH exhibited degradation efficiencies over 90&per; while those at neutral or close to neutral pH were below 10&per;. Additional experiments revealed that MTBE degradation efficiency peaked when FR was used as an equimolar mixture of its components. The degradation efficiency of MTBE intermediates was proportional to their values of the second order rate constant of their reaction with OH (kOH). From these studies it was also established that: (i) TBA is generated from both MTBE and TBF, (ii) acetone is formed independently from MTBE, TBF and TBA, and (iii) methyl acetate is formed exclusively from MTBE. A [FR]0:[MTBE]0 molar ratio of 20:1 was sufficient to achieve total transformation of an initial MTBE concentration of 2.0 mg?L, but complete MTBE mineralization was not achieved even at molar ratios as high as 200:1.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:mtbe fenton reagent chemical oxidation advanced technologies

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2004

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