The Toxicity of Selected Gasoline Components to Glucose Methanogenesis by Aquifer Microorganisms


Six model hydrocarbons, representing various classes of chemicals found in gasoline, and methyl ethyl ketone, were assayed for their inhibitory effect on glucose methanogenesis in slurries prepared from aquifer sediments and ground water. Biogas (CH4 and CO2) production was monitored with an automated pressure transducer system. Benzene, 1-methyl naphthalene, and methyltert-butyl ether (MTBE) were found to have no inhibitory influence on biogas production rates at concentrations up to 71·7 mg/L. Similarly, octane, cyclohexane, indan, and methyl ethylketone (MEK) were found to have only marginal negative effects on the rate of biogas production in aquifer slurries, at concentrations ranging from 51·7 to 72·1 mg/L. Thus, gasoline components had low apparent toxicities to microorganisms responsible for glucose methanogenesis in aquifier slurries. As the concentrations of the assayed hydrocarbons are about 100 times those typically reported after an aquifer has been contaminated with gasoline, it is unlikely that individual hydrocarbons will substantially impact anaerobic metabolic processes.


Biological Sciences

Keywords and Phrases

1 Methylnaphthalene; 2 Butanone; Benzene; Biogas; Carbon Dioxide; Cyclohexane; Gasoline; Glucose; Ground Water; Indan Derivative; Methane; Octane; Tert Butyl Methyl Ether; Aquifer; Bacterial Metabolism; Controlled Study; Glucose Metabolism; Methanobacterium; Methanogenesis; Nonhuman; Pressure Transducer; Sediment; Bacteria (Microorganisms); Anaerobic Metabolism; Hydrocarbons; Toxicity

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Article - Journal

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© 1996 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 1996