Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Processes controlling the natural attenuation of fuel hydrocarbons and MTBE in chalk

Research being carried out by Dr Steve Thornton at Sheffield University is geared to developing a model of natural attenuation of petroleum hydrocarbons and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in dual porosity aquifers. Key objectives are:

to determine the importance of aerobic degradation for MTBE identify factors affecting degradation in the aquifer estimate parameter values for organic degradation enhancement processes identify whether degradation occurs in the fractures or matrix understand how dualporosity flow affects the potential for biodegradation A combination of field, laboratory and modelling studies will be used to identify controls on the migration and degradation of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and total xylene (BTEX), and MTBE.

Stable isotope studies and molecular microbial analysis will be used to assess variations in the degradation of contaminants over time and as they spread through the ground. Natural attenuation processes and properties will be recorded, establishing values that can be entered into a process model to be validated at field-scale.

Work begins this May.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.