MTBE Demonstration Project
EPA assembled a workgroup1 to conduct field evaluations of technologies and processes to treat drinking water (or wellhead treatment) and groundwater contaminated with MTBE. The focus of the field demonstrations was to conduct performance evaluations on field-ready technologies and processes for drinking water treatment and for treatment of groundwater and aquifer materials at the source of contamination. Proposals were due November 11, 1999. The group has selected the Naval Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, California as the host site for both source zone and wellhead treatment technology demonstration and evaluation for MTBE-impacted groundwater.
Technologies and processes were selected based on a national solicitation to determine the best available, field-ready systems. Accordingly, the process to assess the key technical issues was deliberate; the competition was open and lengthy enough to ensure adequate notification, response time, and sufficient time for peer review of the proposals.
Request for Applications to Demonstrate Technologies to Treat Methyl-t-Butyl Ether
tri-fold brochure (EPA/625/F-00/003, April 2000)
- E-Beam Technology, Haley and Aldrich, Inc.
The E-beam technology uses a beam of high energy electrons to treat contaminated groundwater. During treatment, three primary transient reactive species are formed that are reducing and oxidizing: aqueous electrons, hydrogen radicals, and hydroxyl radicals. The vendor claims that these reactive species can destroy organic compounds initially present in the water at the parts-per-million (ppm) range, in most cases, to non-detectable concentrations. Because three reactive species are formed, multiple mechanisms or chemical pathways are present for organic compound destruction. In this way, the E-beam technology differs from other technologies that involve free radical chemistry, which typically rely on a single organic compound for destruction, usually a hydroxyl radical. The entire sequence of reactions between organic compounds and reactive species occurs in the area where the E-beam impacts the water, and is usually completed in milliseconds. The technology is being demonstrated for wellhead and source applications.
High Energy Electron Injection (E-Beam) Technology for the Ex-Situ Treatment of MtBE-Contaminated Groundwater - Innovative Technology Evaluation Report (PDF) (85 pp, 1.13MB, About PDF) 2002. EPA 600/R-02/066.
- HiPOx Process, Applied Process Technology, Inc. (APT)
The HiPOx process, developed by APT, is an Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) that uses ozone and hydrogen peroxide to destroy organic compounds. Ozone dissociates as well as reacts with hydrogen peroxide to produce hydroxyl radicals which react with other organic contaminants, ultimately producing carbon dioxide and water. The HiPOx technology enhances the mass transfer of the ozone into the water by using higher ozone concentrations (8 to 10 percent by weight), higher operating pressures (35 to 45 psig) and multiple mixing zones. The vendor claims that installing multiple reaction zones and ports further enhances the process by minimizing the free ozone concentration, and hence the formation of unwanted ozonation byproducts such as bromate. The technology is being demonstrated for wellhead application.
Demonstration of the HiPOx Advanced Oxidation Technology for the Treatment of MTBE-Contaminated Groundwater (PDF) (33 pp, 859K, About PDF) 2002. EPA 600/R-02/094.
- In Situ Bioremediation of MTBE in Ground Water Using Propane Oxidizing Bacteria, Envirogen, Inc.
This technology injects propane, oxygen, and propane-oxidizing bacteria (POB) into a contaminated aquifer to degrade MTBE. It is postulated that the stimulation of the POB will result in the production of the propane monooxygenase enzyme. This will catalyze the destruction of MTBE and its primary breakdown product, tert-butyl alcohol (TBA), and will be completely converted to carbon dioxide and water. A network of conventional upgradient and downgradient monitoring points in the aquifer and vadose zone are installed. A ground water tracer mixing and injection system provides two ground water tracers ( bromide and iodide) and deuterated-MTBE. The process is being demonstrated for source treatment.
For more information about MTBE in drinking water, contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.
1 This workgroup consists of staff in the following EPA offices: the National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL); the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER); the Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST); the Technology Innovation Office (TIO); the Office of Water (OW); the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS); and Region 9. In addition, the California Water Resources Control Board and the California Department of Health Services are participating in the workgroup.