Modeling the competitive effect of ammonium oxidizers and heterotrophs on the degradation of MTBE in a packed bed reactor

Christopher Kevin Waul, Erik Arvin, Jens Ejbye Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

A mathematical model was used to study effects on the degradation of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in a packed bed reactor due to the presence of contaminants such as ammonium, and the mix of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX). It was shown that competition between the slower growing MTBE degraders and the co-contaminant oxidizers prevented MTBE's degradation when oxygen was limited. In this event, the co-contaminant oxidizers out-competed the MTBE degraders in the reactor's biofilm. However, if the oxygen supply was sufficient, MTBE would be fully degraded after the zone where the co-contaminants were oxidized. The results of the model further indicate that contradicting findings in the literature about the effects of BTEX on the degradation of MTBE are mainly due to differences in the study methodologies. Effects such as short-term toxicity of BTEX and the lack of steady-state conditions may also add to contradictions among reports.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Research
Volume42
Pages (from-to)3098-3108
ISSN0043-1354
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling the competitive effect of ammonium oxidizers and heterotrophs on the degradation of MTBE in a packed bed reactor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this