The Effect of Ethanol Cosolvency on Benzene

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ProQuest, 2007 - 67 pages
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The findings of the solvency study verify previous work; aqueous benzene solubility increases with increasing ethanol volume fraction. The log-linear cosolvency model proved an acceptable model for the data obtained. The percent increases in benzene solubility ranged from 2-13% based on ethanol volume fractions of 0.1--0.7. These data are comparable to Corseuil et al. 2003 results. Increased benzene solubility enhances plume mobility, which in turn creates a much larger contaminated area. The sorption study data, although limited, suggests that soil sorption is decreased as ethanol volume fraction increases. It was found that benzene in the presence of ethanol volume fractions of 0.5 or greater will travel unretarded, which furthermore exacerbates the contamination of the aquifer. The ability of ethanol to enhance plume length solely by increasing solubility and decreasing soil sorption must also be coupled with slower benzene biodegradation rates due to preferential microbial utilization of ethanol. Depending on the location of gasoline blends containing greater than 50% ethanol, remediation costs could be drastically higher.

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