Evaluation of Aerogel in Permeable Reactive Barrier to Remove MTBE from Aqeous Solution

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assist. Prof., Department of Civil Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, 84156-83111, Isfahan, Iran

2 MSc graduated student, Department of Civil Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, 84156-83111, Isfahan, Iran


MTBE is one of the most common hydrocarbon compounds in crude oil that leaks into groundwater through reservoir leaks. The use of MTBE in gasoline compounds has increased significantly and has caused groundwater pollution. In this study, the permeable reactive barrier technology was used to remove MTBE from aqueous solution. In this study, aerogels were used as adsorbents in permeable reactive barrier to remove MTBE from aqueous solution. SEM, BET, XRF and solid addition methods were used to determine the adsorbent properties. In experiments under batch conditions the effect of contact time, pH, adsorption isotherm and adsorption kinetics were investigated. Continuous experiments were studied for determination of bed life and adsorbent performance in PRB. The capacity of this adsorbent was obtained in batch experiments, 6.25 mg/g Aerogel. The equilibrium time in batch experiments was about 60 min and the optimum pH was about 6. In the adsorption isotherm studies, the Freundlich model and in the kinetic studies, the pseudo-second-order model had the best fit with the data. In this study, the PRB was evaluated by continuous tests. The aerogel adsorbent had an adsorption capacity of 13.4 mg/g Aerogel (bed depth of adsorbent was 6 cm). Also, the PRB bed life was calculated and determined. The use of Aerogel in PRB was evaluated as an effective agent in MTBE removal.


Aivalioti, M., Vamvasakis, I. & Gidarakos, E. 2010. BTEX and MTBE adsorption onto raw and thermally modified diatomite. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 178, 136-143.
Chen, D., Zhang, J. & Chen, J. 2010. Adsorption of methyl tert-butyl ether using granular activated carbon: equilibrium and kinetic analysis. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 7, 235-242.
Chiu, C. H., Lin, T.-F. & Hung, W. N. 2013. Performance of laboratory adsorbent-based permeable reactive barrier for treating MTBE-contaminated groundwater. Sustainable Environment Research, 23, 53-60.
Hasheminejad, H., Karimi J. A., Talebbeydokhti, N. & Monajemi, P. 2013. Remediation of petroleum contaminated groundwater using sawdust as an adsorbent. Iranian Journal of Science and Technology Transaction B- Engineering, 37(C1), 127-141.
Khosravi, P., Ebadi, T. & Zendedel, M. 2015. Evaluation of MTBE removal from groundwater using permeable  reactive barriers and zeolite-polymer nanocomposite. 10th International Congress of Civil Engineering. Tabriz University. Tabriz, Iran. (In Persian)
Mahmoodlu, M. G., Hassanizadeh, S. M., Hartog, N. & Raoof, A. 2014. Oxidation of trichloroethylene, toluene, and ethanol vapors by a partially saturated permeable reactive barrier. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 164, 193-208.
Mayacela Royas, C. M., Rivera Velasques, M. F., Tavolaro, A., Molinari, A. & Fallico, C. 2017. Use of vegetable fibers for PRB to remove heavy metals from contaminated aquifers-comparisons among cabuya fibers, broom fibers and ZVI. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(7), 684.
Nikkhah Monfared, M., Sabor, M. & Afshin, K. 2009. MTBE removal from water using soil (a case study of Rey city). 2nd International Symposium on Environmental Engineering. University of Technology Khaje Nasiruddin Toosi. Tehran, Iran. (In Persian)
Smith , M. B. & March , J. 2006. March’s advanced organic Chemistry, New Jeresy, John Wiley&Sons Inc.
USEPA. 1998. Remediation of MTBE contaminated soil and groundwater, 1-5.
Zhou, D., Li, Y., Zhang, Y., Zhang, C., Li, X., Chen, Z., et al. 2014. Column test-based optimization of the permeable reactive barrier (PRB) technique for remediating groundwater contaminated by landfill leachates. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 168, 1-16.