This Web page provides links to the final version of the report, Environmental Assessment of the Use of Ethanol as a Fuel Oxygenate: Subsurface Fate and Transport of Gasoline Containing Ethanol. This document reports the continuing research into the possible impacts on ground water resources that may be associated with the increased use of ethanol in gasoline in California.  This report has been prepared by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in collaboration with the University of Iowa and Clarkson University for the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).  The final version was published on October, 2001.

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Contents

Summary

Executive Summary [92-KB PDF]


Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Introduction: Increased Use of Ethanol in Gasoline and Potential Ground Water Impacts
[180-KB PDF]

    1.1. Background

      1.1.1. MtBE Phase-out
      1.1.2. Use of Ethanol-blended Gasoline

    1.2. Areas of Subsurface Fate and Transport Uncertainty

      1.2.1. Unsaturated Zone Transport
      1.2.2. Impact of Ethanol on Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene Groundwater Plumes
      1.2.3. Evaluation of Ethanol Sampling and Analytical Methods

    1.3. Potential Effects of Ethanol on Site Remediation Activities

      1.3.1. BTEX Mass Extraction Approaches
      1.3.2. BTEX Bioremediation Approaches
      1.3.3. How the Presence of Ethanol May Affect Remediation Process Performance

    1.4 References

Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Infiltration and Distribution of Ethanol and Ethanol-blended Gasolines
[2.1-MB PDF | Read the summary]

    2.1. Introduction
    2.2. Overview of the Fate of Ethanol-blended Gasoline in the Subsurface
    2.3. Mechanism that Affect the Fate of Gasohol During Infiltration and Spreading

      2.3.1. Partitioning Behavior
      2.3.2. Changes in Capillary Forces and Multiphase Flow Due to Presence of Ethanol

    2.4. Research Approach

      2.4.1. Materials
      2.4.2. Methods

    2.5. Results

      2.5.1. Impact of ethanol On Capillarity
      2.5.2. Characterization of Effects of Ethanol on Flow in the Unsaturated Zone
      2.5.3. Infiltration and Distribution of Ethanol-blended Gasoline
      2.5.4. Infiltration and Distribution of Denatured Ethanol Spills

    2.6. Implicatons

      2.6.1. Ethanol-blended Gasoline
      2.6.2. Ethanol Spills at Bulk Distribution Terminals

    2.7. Conclusions
    2.8. Recommendations
    2.9. Acknowledgements
    2.10. Refererences

Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Effect of Ethanol and MtBE on BTEX Biodegradation in the Saturated Zone: Kinetic Studies
[1.0-MB PDF | Read the summary]

    3.1. Introduction
    3.2. Scope of Work and Specific Objectives
    3.3. Methodology

      3.3.1. Microcosm Degradation Assays

    3.4. Sacrificial Microcosms for Molecular Analysis of the Microbial Community
    3.5. Aquifer Columns

      3.5.1. Breakthrough Experiments
      3.5.2. Natural Attenuation Profiles Along Aquifer Columns

    3.6. Analytical Methods
    3.7. Results and Discussion

      3.7.1. Microcosm Degradation Assays
      3.7.2. Summary of Microcosm Degradation Assays

    3.8. Effect of Ethanol and MtBE on BTEX Retardation
    3.9. Effect of Ethanol and MtBE on BTEX Breakthrough from Non-Sterile Columns
    3.10. Natural Attenuation Profiles Along Aquifer Columns
    3.11. Conclusions
    3.12. Recommendations
    3.13. Acknowledgements
    3.14. References

Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Effect of Ethanol on Hydrocarbon- degrading Bacteria in the Saturated Zone: Microbial Ecology Studies
[2.1-MB PDF | Read the Summary]

    4.1. Introduction
    4.2. Materials and Methods

      4.2.1. Microcosm Construction and Sampling
      4.2.2. DNA Extraction
      4.2.3. Real-Time, Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTQ-PCR)
      4.2.4. Data Analysis
      4.2.5. Analysis of Toluene and Ethanol

    4.3. Results

      4.3.1. Performance of RTQ-PCR Methods Developed for this Study

    4.4. Travis AFB Microcosms

      4.4.1. Denitrifying Conditons
      4.4.2. Sulfate-reducing Conditions
      4.4.3. Methanogenic Conditions
      4.4.4. Ferric Iron-amended Conditions

    4.5. Northwest Terminal Microcosms

      4.5.1. Denitrifying Conditions
      4.5.2. Sulfate-reducing Conditions

    4.6. Sacramento Microcosms

      4.6.1. Denitrifying Conditions

    4.7. Tracy Microcosms

      4.7.1. Denitrifying Conditions

    4.8. Discussion
    4.9. Conclusions
    4.10. Recommendations
    4.11. References

Chapter 5

Chapter 5: A Finite-difference-based Reactive Transport Model Assessment of the Effects of Ethanol Biotransformation on the Lengths of Benzene Plumes from Leaking Underground Fuel Tanks
[2.3-MB PDF | Read the abstract]

    5.1. Introduction
    5.2. Methodology
    5.3. Results
    5.4. Conclusion
    5.5. Recommendations
    5.6. References

Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Evaluation of Storage and Analysis Protocols for Environmental Samples Containing Ethanol
[581-KB PDF | Read the abstract]

    6.1. Introduction
    6.2. Materials and Methods

      6.2.1. Materials
      6.2.2. In-house Ethanol Analysis Protocol
      6.2.3. Storage Study Sample Treatments
      6.2.4. Laboratory Comparison Study

    6.3. Results

      6.3.1. Sample Storage Studies
      6.3.2. Contract Analytical Laboratory Comparisons

    6.4. Conclusions
    6.5. Recommendations
    6.6. Acknowledgements
    6.7. References

Miscellaneous files


For more information please contact:

David Rice, Project Manager
Environmental Restoration Division
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
P.O. Box 808, L-528
Livermore, California 94551
rice4@llnl.gov (925) 423-5059

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