Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Research Projects -- Oxygenated Fuel -- Laurel Bay, South Carolina, Site
MTBE Fate at Artificial Oxic/Anoxic Interfaces
At the Laurel Bay research site, an oxic/anoxic interface was artificially created in an anaerobic part of the aquifer upgradient from the ditch by injecting an oxygen release compound. In an experimental well located closest to the oxygen addition area, DO concentrations increased from 0.4 to 12 mg/L (milligrams per liter) in less than 60 days and MTBE concentrations decreased from 20 to 3 mg/L. In the same time period, an additional experimental well exhibited increases in DO from less than 0.2 to 2 mg/L, and MTBE concentrations decreased from 30 to near 5 mg/L. These results indicate that the artificial emplacement of an oxic/anoxic interface in MTBE-contaminated aquifers can be an effective remedial strategy to enhance the in situ aerobic degradation of MTBE.