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Kinetics of the oxidation of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) by potassium permanganate

Damm, J.H. and Hardacre, C. and Kalin, R.M. and Walsh, K.P. (2002) Kinetics of the oxidation of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) by potassium permanganate. Water Research, 36 (14). pp. 3638-3646.

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The occurrence of the fuel oxygenate methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in the environment has received considerable scientific attention. The pollutant is frequently found in the groundwater due to leaking of underground storage tanks or pipelines. Concentrations of more than several mg/L MTBE were detected in groundwater at several places in the US and Germany in the last few years. In situ chemical oxidation is a promising treatment method for MTBE-contaminated plumes. This research investigated the reaction kinetics for the oxidation of MTBE by permanganate. Batch tests demonstrated that the oxidation of MTBE by permanganate is second order overall and first order individually with respect to permanganate and MTBE. The second-order rate constant was 1.426 x 10(-6) L/mg/h. The influence of pH on the reaction rate was demonstrated to have no significant effect. However, the rate of MTBE oxidation by potassium permanganate is 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than of other advanced oxidation processes. The slower rates of MTBE oxidation by permanganate limit the applicability of this process for rapid MTBE cleanup strategies. However, permanganate oxidation of MTBE has potential for passive oxidation risk management strategies. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.