Treatment of MTBE by Air Stripping, Carbon Adsorption, and Advanced Oxidation: Technical and Economic Comparison for Five Groundwaters

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Water Research



Publication Date


First Page


Last Page



An investigation was made of the treatability of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in five groundwaters with highly varied water quality characteristics. Air stripping, granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorption, and the O(3)/H(2)O(2) and UV/H(2)O(2) advanced oxidation processes were compared in a mobile water treatment pilot plant under a variety of process conditions. Air stripping was shown to have the lower unit treatment costs for higher flowrates (i.e., 3800L/min), although relatively tall towers were required for greater treatment requirements. At low flowrates (i.e., 38L/min), advanced oxidation provided the lowest treatment costs for four of five waters (but was ineffective for a high chemical oxygen demand water). Both the O(3)/H(2)O(2) and UV/H(2)O(2) processes were more efficient at pH 7 versus 9 due in part to increased scavenging at higher pH. GAC was examined using rapid small-scale column tests (RSSCT). GAC was effective at most conditions, although it was also the most costly alternative for most waters. The results of this study can help to provide specific guidance into process selection for treating MTBE in contaminated groundwaters.

This document is currently not available here.