Source of BenzeneBenzene, a byproduct of petroleum refining, is used as an intermediate in the production of synthesized plastics, and is also an additive in gasoline. Gasoline contains approximately 0.8 percent benzene by volume. Benzene is classified as a volatile organic chemical (VOC) and is considered a carcinogen by the US EPA. Benzene makes its way into water supplies from leaking fuel tanks, industrial chemical waste, pharmaceutical industry waste, or from run off of pesticides. The current US EPA Ml for Benzene is 0.005 mg/l.
Treatment of BenzeneBenzene can be removed with activated carbon. Approximately 1000 gallons of water containing 570 ppb of benzene can be treated with 0.35 lbs of activated carbon, in other words; 94,300 gallons of water can be treated for every cubic foot of carbon. The benzene must be in contact with the carbon for a minimum of 10 minutes. If the required flow rate is 5 gpm, then 50 gallon of carbon is required; which converts to approx. 7 Cu. ft. The activated carbon must be replaced when exhausted.