U.S. Microbics Unveils Solution to MTBE Contamination

Dec. 28, 2000
U.S. Microbics, Inc. has announced that its technology subsidiary, XyclonyX, has completed a successful pilot program demonstrating the effectiveness of its proprietary microbes in treating Methyl-Tertiary-Butyl-Ether (MTBE).

Used as a fuel additive in gasoline, this chemical compound has caused serious contamination of the nation's drinking water supplies. Successful implementation of the treatment protocol developed by XyclonyX could help reduce the danger that MTBE poses to human health.

While the use of MTBE as a fuel additive has helped to achieve significant reductions in air emissions, unlike other components of gasoline, MTBE dissolves and spreads readily in groundwater, does not degrade easily and is difficult and costly to remove from groundwater. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering a limit or ban on the use of MTBE as a fuel additive.

In response to the growing concerns regarding MTBE and customer requests for a cost effective, environmentally friendly alternative for MTBE cleanup, the XyclonyX research team performed a pilot project on client MTBE contaminated water, fine tuning the recipe of microbes required to treat the MTBE. The sample consisted of MTBE, Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene (BTEX), and gasoline with concentrations over 10,000 parts per billion. Within five days after initial microbial treatment, non-detect(ND) levels were validated by an independent, state-certified lab.

The company believes these results are directly applicable to the cleanup of MTBE contaminated soil and water using injection of microbes to contaminated groundwater, above-ground applications where contaminated soil is processed through U.S. Microbics' patented Bio-Raptor(TM), in existing tank farm storage tanks, and, where necessary, transported to a bioreactor for offsite treatment. It plans to market the treatment with its joint venture contracting partner, Environmental Reclamation, Inc., by providing turnkey solutions including microbes, technology, equipment, labor and management on an individual project basis.

ERI and U.S. Microbics currently are developing bids for MTBE cleanup projects in California.

(SOURCE: U.S. Microbics, Inc.)