Fenton Remediation of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) and Effects of Reaction Conditions on the Byproducts Formed

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assist. Prof. of Civil Eng,. Dept. of Environmental Eng., Tarbiat Modarress University, Tehran

2 M.Sc. of Civil and Environmental Eng., Tarbiyat Modarres University, Tehran

3 Prof. of Civil Eng., Dept. of Environmental Eng., Tarbiyat Modarres University, Tehran


Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether has been used in theUnitedStatesince 1979 as a gasoline additive. Increased use of this compound has caused pollution in both surface and groundwater. Conventional treatment methods are not successful. In this study, Fenton-reagent based degradation of a high concentration solution (1000Mg/L) of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether was investigated on the bench scale using Ferric Sulfate as the Fenton catalyst. Effects of pH, time of reaction, and reaction reagent (Hydrogen peroxide and iron catalysts) concentrations were investigated. Under optimum conditions, the degradation efficiency was 99.995 percent. The optimum concentrations of ferric sulfate and hydrogen peroxide for the complete removal of MTBE were 5.4 Mg/L and 550Mg/L, respectively. The optimum pH was 3, and the remaining concentration of MTBE in the solution under optimum conditions was lower than 50µg/L (Gas Chromatography detection limit). Rate of reaction decreased after a few minutes. Variations in pH over time were measured. It was found that increasing the hydrogen peroxide concentration decreased Methyl Tertiary Butyl Alcohol and Acetone in solution. Concentrations of these by-products increased at high pH levels. Acetone and Tertiary Butyl Alcohol concentrations were 30 and 120 Mg/L, respectively, at pH=3, while they were 150 and 250 Mg/L, respectively, at pH=7.


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