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Contaminated land and groundwater remediation

Removal of MTBE pollutant from groundwater using photocatalysis.

  • Post-Doc: Steve Rolt
  • PhDs: May Chan, Leonard Lim
  • MEng students: Emily Warren, Andy Wiggan
  • MSc Cagliari: Alice Meloni, Nicola Giuliani, Maria Elena Lusci


Experimental simulation of MTBE clean-up from a leaking tank (Leonard Lim 2009)










(upper) and side section (lower) of the sand tank.

The MTBE solution was injected at the injection point, simulating a leaking underground tank. The groundwater is improved by photocatalysis - UV light falls on the catalyst, generating OH radicals which decompose MTBE to CO2 and water.










Plume of MTBE at 6cm (upper) and 12cm (lower), at increasing times.

The clean-up occurs in the hexagonal reactor.

Reference: Lim LL P, R J Lynch, In Situ Photocatalytic Attenuation of Organics in Groundwater. ConSoil 2010, Salzburg, Austria, 22-24 September 2010.

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