MPE Process

The MPE process is a generic term for technologies that extract VOCs such as MTBE and other fuel oxygenates from the subsurface in soil, vapor, and groundwater, simultaneously. In addition, it can be used to remove free product or other NAPLs. MPE is referred to by several other names in the technical literature. Examples of terms referring to MPE and its configurations are dual-phase extraction (DPE), two-phase extraction (TPE), and vapor extraction/groundwater extraction (VE/ GE). In general, all of these configurations couple SVE with groundwater (and in some cases NAPL) extraction and employ some form of aboveground water and vapor treatment technologies.34,46

24.6.2 Effect of the Properties of MTBE and Other Oxygenates on Treatment

The primary removal mechanisms for MPE are volatilization with subsequent air advection for the vapor phase and dissolution and aqueous advection in groundwater. Vapor pressure, solubility, and organic/water partition coefficient are the primary properties of MTBE and other oxygenates that correspond to these removal mechanisms. In general, contaminants with higher solubility and vapor pressure and lower partition coefficients, such as fuel oxygenates, are more appropriate for removal using MPE than BTEX. As shown in Table 24.10, the properties of both ether- and alcohol-based oxygenates suggest that they may be more favorably removed from the subsurface by the vapor and groundwater extraction components of MPE than BTEX constituents. One exception to this

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