PoroFrac - A high-fidelity isogeometric simulation methodology for fracture in porous media

Ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) is a gasoline ether oxygenate (GEO) compound which is added to fuels to enhance combustion and reduce atmospheric emissions from vehicles.

CIV Mappin

Accidental releases of fuels may contaminate soil and groundwater with ETBE and other gasoline hydrocarbons. Engineered remediation of gasoline-contaminated groundwater is expensive and less sustainable than natural attenuation, a technical concept which relies on biodegradation of contaminants in situ to clean up the groundwater. However, the potential for ETBE biodegradation in groundwater is unclear.

This research examines the interactions between microorganisms which can biodegrade ETBE in groundwater. The aim of the project is to explore the functional role of these microorganisms in biodegradation processes, such as co-metabolism of ETBE with other ether oxygenate compounds and hydrocarbons in European groundwater. The research will investigate which microorganisms and genes are involved in the biodegradation of ETBE and other GEO in mixtures, identify ETBE-degrading microorganisms as potential markers of ETBE biodegradation potential for site screening, and deduce the optimal conditions for in-situ biodegradation of ETBE. The goal is to provide scientific information to support decisions on risk-management of ETBE-contaminated groundwater in Europe. The research is undertaken in collaboration with staff in the Dept of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield.



Project Dates

Start Date : 13/03/2018
End Date : 12/03/2020 


PoroFrac - EU research results

People Involved

Professor René de Borst

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