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Title (Primary) Carbon isotopic fractionation during anaerobic biotransformation of methyl tert-butyl ether and tert-amyl methyl ether
Author Somsamak, P.; Richnow, H.H.; Häggblom, M.M.;
Journal Environmental Science & Technology
Year 2005
Department ISOBIO;
Volume 39
Issue 1
Language englisch;
Abstract The fuel oxygenate methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) has been frequently detected in groundwater and surface water. Since contaminated sites are often subsurface, anaerobic degradation of MTBE will likely be significant for remediation. As traditional approaches to evaluate biodegradation generally involve laboratory microcosm studies which require time and resources, innovative approaches are needed to demonstrate active in situ biodegradation of MTBE. This study was conducted to gather information at the laboratory level to evaluate the potential of applying carbon isotope fractionation as an indicator for in situ biodegradation of the fuel oxygenates MTBE and tert-amyl methyl ether (TAME). In this study, MTBE utilization was observed in a methanogenic sediment microcosm after a lengthy lag period of about 400 days. MTBE utilization was sustained upon refeeding and subculturing. tert-Butyl alcohol (TBA) was found to accumulate after propagation of cultures. The MTBE-grown cultures also utilized TAME and produced tert-amyl alcohol (TAA). The detection of TBA and TAA indicated that ether bond cleavage was the initial step in degradation for both compounds. Carbon isotope fractionation during anaerobic MTBE and TAME degradation was studied, and isotopic enrichment factors (ε) with 95% confidence intervals of −15.6 ± 4.1‰ and −13.7 ± 4.5‰ were estimated for anaerobic MTBE and TAME degradation, respectively. Addition of 2-bromoethanesulfonic acid, an inhibitor of methanogenesis, substantially prolonged the lag period before transformation, but did not influence carbon isotope fractionation. Our experiment provided strong evidence of significant carbon isotope fractionation during anaerobic MTBE and TAME degradation, demonstrating that this technique can be used as an indicator for in situ MTBE and TAME degradation.
ID 3815
Persistent UFZ Identifier https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=3815
Somsamak, P., Richnow, H.H., Häggblom, M.M. (2005):
Carbon isotopic fractionation during anaerobic biotransformation of methyl tert-butyl ether and tert-amyl methyl ether
Environ. Sci. Technol. 39 (1), 103 - 109