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Methyltert-butyl Ether (MTBE) Degradation by a Microbial Consortium

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Author(s): S. B. Mortazavi | A. Nikpey | A. Rezaee | H. Asilian | A. Khavanin | H. Kazemian

Journal: American Journal of Environmental Sciences
ISSN 1553-345X

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 69;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Methyl Tert-butyl Ether (MTBE) | Degradation | Microbial Consortium

ABSTRACT
Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is added to reformulated gasoline to meet the 1990 Clean Air Act directives. Widespread use of MTBE in gasoline has resulted in groundwater contamination. Because of its undesirable effects on drinking water and ecologically harmful effects, MTBE removal has become a public health and environmental concern. In this study, we have isolated a mixed bacterial culture which is capable of degrading the MTBE as a sole carbon and energy source. This consortium was developed from mixed urban and petrochemical activated sludge after 4 month's enrichment. Enrichment was conducted in batch reactor, fitted with a screw cap and butyl rubber septum. MTBE concentration was measured in head space by gas chromatography. Degradation was determined by MTBE removal. MTBE biodegradation was depended to Dissolved Oxygen (DO) concentration and not affected by the changes in concentration of trace element solution or other stimulator Substances. Degradation rates were nearly 1.478 mg MTBE h-1 g-1 (wet biomass) and didn't change with MTBE concentration (up 500 mg L-1).

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