New Technology Successfully Treats MTBE-Contaminated Water

Dec. 28, 2000
Cleaning up the environment is a lot like doing laundry -- some problems are harder to get out than others. Until now, the potentially toxic gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) was considered the red wine of environmental contaminants.

It is very hard to remove once it gets into water, but K2M Mobile Treatment Services, Inc., a Long Beach-based environmental technology firm, has developed a cost-effective method for removing MTBE from contaminated water using its mobile water treatment equipment.

"MTBE helps cars run cleaner and has reportedly contributed to improved air quality, but since it started showing up in the water in some places, we have learned how difficult it can be to remove," said Keith Martins, president and founding partner of K2M. Martins and K2M co-founder Paul Anderson brought their combined 30 years of environmental management experience to bear on this issue. "And we have developed a solution. Our equipment can treat a wide variety of water pollutants, and for those projects that require it, we now have a new piece of equipment that is safe, eliminates MTBE and costs far less than the alternative. We are successfully treating MTBE right now," he added.

K2M has treated millions of gallons of gasoline-contaminated water using a time-tested water treatment technique that transfers the contaminants from the liquid water phase to the gaseous phase where they are safely destroyed. But since the MTBE in gasoline resists transfer to the gaseous phase, it was as difficult to remove from water as a red wine stain from a silk blouse. Now, with K2M's proprietary MTBE-treatment technology the contaminated water is pre-conditioned to make MTBE elimination possible and cost-effective, using K2M's compact, trailer-mounted equipment. K2M has addressed MTBE issues for a number of major oil company clients.

SOURCE: K2M Mobile Treatment Services Inc.