A practical approach to the design, monitoring, and optimization of In Situ MTBE Aerobic Biobarriers

Paul C. Johnson, Cristin L. Bruce, Karen D. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

A paradigm for the design, monitoring, and optimization of in situ methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) aerobic biobarriers is presented. In this technology, an oxygen-rich biologically reactive treatment zone (the " biobarrier" ) is established in situ and downgradient of the source of dissolved MTBE contamination in groundwater, typically gasoline-impacted soils resulting from leaks and spills at service station sites or other fuel storage and distribution facilities. The system is designed so that groundwater containing dissolved MTBE flows to, and through, the biobarrier treatment zone, ideally under natural gradient conditions so that no pumping is necessary. As the groundwater passes through the biobarrier, the MTBE is converted by microorganisms to innocuous by-products. The system also reduces concentrations of other aerobically degradable chemicals dissolved in the groundwater, such as benzene, toluene, xylenes, and tert-butyl alcohol. This design paradigm is based on experience gained while designing, monitoring, and optimizing pilot-scale and full-scale MTBE biobarrier systems. It is largely empirically based, although the design approach does rely on simple engineering calculations. The paradigm emphasizes gas injection-based oxygen delivery schemes, although many of the steps would be common to other methods of delivering oxygen to aquifers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
JournalGround Water Monitoring and Remediation
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Fingerprint

MTBE
Ethers
Groundwater
Monitoring
monitoring
groundwater
oxygen
Oxygen
Fuel storage
Filling stations
Hazardous materials spills
xylene
Xylene
Aquifers
Microorganisms
toluene
benzene
Gasoline
Toluene
Byproducts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

A practical approach to the design, monitoring, and optimization of In Situ MTBE Aerobic Biobarriers. / Johnson, Paul C.; Bruce, Cristin L.; Miller, Karen D.

In: Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation, Vol. 30, No. 1, 12.2010, p. 58-66.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Johnson, Paul C. ; Bruce, Cristin L. ; Miller, Karen D. / A practical approach to the design, monitoring, and optimization of In Situ MTBE Aerobic Biobarriers. In: Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation. 2010 ; Vol. 30, No. 1. pp. 58-66.
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