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J Contam Hydrol. 2012 Apr 1;131(1-4):100-18. doi: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2012.01.011. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Use of statistical tools to evaluate the reductive dechlorination of high levels of TCE in microcosm studies.

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GE Global Research, One Research Circle, Niskayuna, NY 12309, USA.


A large, multi-laboratory microcosm study was performed to select amendments for supporting reductive dechlorination of high levels of trichloroethylene (TCE) found at an industrial site in the United Kingdom (UK) containing dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) TCE. The study was designed as a fractional factorial experiment involving 177 bottles distributed between four industrial laboratories and was used to assess the impact of six electron donors, bioaugmentation, addition of supplemental nutrients, and two TCE levels (0.57 and 1.90 mM or 75 and 250 mg/L in the aqueous phase) on TCE dechlorination. Performance was assessed based on the concentration changes of TCE and reductive dechlorination degradation products. The chemical data was evaluated using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and survival analysis techniques to determine both main effects and important interactions for all the experimental variables during the 203-day study. The statistically based design and analysis provided powerful tools that aided decision-making for field application of this technology. The analysis showed that emulsified vegetable oil (EVO), lactate, and methanol were the most effective electron donors, promoting rapid and complete dechlorination of TCE to ethene. Bioaugmentation and nutrient addition also had a statistically significant positive impact on TCE dechlorination. In addition, the microbial community was measured using phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA) for quantification of total biomass and characterization of the community structure and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for enumeration of Dehalococcoides organisms (Dhc) and the vinyl chloride reductase (vcrA) gene. The highest increase in levels of total biomass and Dhc was observed in the EVO microcosms, which correlated well with the dechlorination results.

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