Effective treatment of MtBE and breakdown products using C-Sparge and Perozone®

Ozone oxidation systems like C-SpargeTM (microbubble ozone) and Perozone® (peroxide-coated ozone) are used for treatment of a variety of contaminants. From non-volatile to volatile compounds, from saturated to unsaturated compounds. The most common contaminants treated are chlorinated solvents, petroleum products and PAHs. Engineered microbubble systems with ozone (C-SpargeTM) or a combination of ozone and peroxides (Perozone®) have proven to be a powerful means of targeting and effectively eliminating petroleum spill products, like aromatics, alkanes but also the gasoline additive MtBE and the common breakdown product TBA.
The mentioned ozone-based techniques can be described as “extraction and reaction” mechanisms. The means of extraction is explained by Henry’s Law, drawing compounds through a very reactive oxidizing environment into the gaseous ozone bubble. MtBE is common known as a difficult stripable compound. By using special designed microporous points resulting in microbubbles with a large specific surface area, MtBE can be stripped easily. The present ozone in the microbubble fully destroys the stripped compound in an instantaneous reaction. This mechanism maintains a maximum drive for stripping of compounds from the aqueous phase into the gaseous phase, one of the bases of the effective treatment. In some cases, also with MtBE, the reaction of ozone with MtBE results in the byproduct peroxide. This byproduct enhances the ozone oxidation efficiency through the formation of hydroxyl and oxygen radicals, resulting in AOP (Advanced Oxidation Processes). This is the basis of the Perozone®-process, a continuously production and regeneration of OH radicals through reaction of ozone with hydroperoxides.
In the US ozone treatment of groundwater and soil has become a well recognized oxidation system for MtBE treatment. Ozone degrades the MtBE and releases oxygen in the process. Numerous breakdown products (e.g. TBA, TBF) are readily degraded by excess ozone and bacteria in oxygenated conditions. The well documented experiences from the US can be used in the European market for treatment of petroleum-related compounds like MtBE. This paper will give a short review of the state of the art in ozone microbubble oxidation technology for MtBE removal and the results of some case studies will be presented.

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