Advanced Low-Temperature Emissions Control Technology for MTBE Destruction

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: 68D02029
Agency Tracking Number: 68D02029
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 368, Amherst, MA, 01004
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 JR Kittrell
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (413) 549-5506
Research Institution
There is an immediate and growing need for technology to remediate groundwater and sites contaminated with methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and with possible benzene/toluene/xylene (BTX) compounds. Gasoline that contains MTBE has leaked into groundwater, presenting both health risks and objectionable odor and taste in lakes, aquifers, and urban wells in 49 states. Due to the specific physical and chemical properties of MTBE, conventional technologies cannot satisfactorily remediate MTBE-contaminated groundwater. The proposed research project will establish the technical and economic feasibility of a novel technology to remediate MTBE-contaminated groundwater. An air stripper is used to strip MTBE from the water, producing a high flow-rate air stream with dilute MTBE concentrations. In urban areas, a low-profile stripper can be employed. A novel technology will be developed to completely destroy the resulting MTBE and BTX in air, using extremely low-temperature catalytic oxidation with a new class of catalysts designed specifically for these compounds. Operating temperatures below 100¿C already have been achieved with this new class of catalysts, and temperatures of 20¿50¿C appear achievable. With success in this new class of catalysts, an inexpensive, compact, effective technique will be available for cleaning up groundwater and sites contaminated by fuel oxygenates, avoiding the cost and size of traditional high-temperature catalytic oxidizers, with their attendant heat exchangers and piping systems.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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