Evaluation of GAC technology for the removal of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) from drinking water

I. H. Suffet, T. Shih, M. Wangpaichitr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To validate and optimize granular activated (GAC) performance in removing MTBE in the presence of competitors such as natural organic matter (NOM), volatile organics present in gasoline (e.g., BTX), and breakdown products of MTBE (e.g., tributyl alcohol (TBA)), pure and competitive isotherm studies were conducted using GAC, resins, and greensands, with MTBE, TBA in either organic-free water or actual groundwater from Santa Monica, CA. The coconut activated carbon had the highest equilibrium adsorption capacity for MTBE. Significant reductions in equilibrium adsorption capacity was seen by adding NOM and/ir TBA. The isotherms showed coconut GAC to be the most cost-effective sorbent for use as a sole process and as a polishing process after advanced oxidation, but competitive adsorption of TBA and dissolved organic carbon in the background matrix altered the adsorption of MTBE to coconut GAC. Further evaluations of two coconut GAC were performed using rapid small-scale column test on MTBE levels from 20 to 2000 ppb, with or without the presence of TBA and BTX in groundwaters and a surface water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-247
Number of pages3
JournalACS Division of Environmental Chemistry, Preprints
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event219th ACS National Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 26 2000Mar 30 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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