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J Contam Hydrol. 2013 Aug;151:16-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2013.04.002. Epub 2013 Apr 15.

Use of emulsified vegetable oil to support bioremediation of TCE DNAPL in soil columns.

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


The interaction between emulsified vegetable oil (EVO) and trichloroethylene (TCE) dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) was observed using two soil columns and subsequent reductive dechlorination of TCE was monitored over a three year period. Dyed TCE DNAPL (~75 g) was emplaced in one column (DNAPL column), while the second was DNAPL-free (plume column). EVO was added to both columns and partitioning of the EVO into the TCE DNAPL was measured and quantified. TCE (1.9 mM) was added to the influent of the plume column to simulate conditions down gradient of a DNAPL source area and the columns were operated independently for more than one year, after which they were connected in series. Initially limited dechlorination of TCE to cDCE was observed in the DNAPL column, while the plume column supported complete reductive dechlorination of TCE to ethene. Upon connection and reamendment of the plume column with EVO, near saturation levels of TCE from the effluent of the DNAPL column were rapidly dechlorinated to c-DCE and VC in the plume column; however, this high rate dechlorination produced hydrochloric acid which overwhelmed the buffering capacity of the system and caused the pH to drop below 6.0. Dechlorination efficiency in the columns subsequently deteriorated, as measured by the chloride production and Dehalococcoides counts, but was restored by adding sodium bicarbonate buffer to the influent groundwater. Robust dechlorination was eventually observed in the DNAPL column, such that the TCE DNAPL was largely removed by the end of the study. Partitioning of the EVO into the DNAPL provided significant operational benefits to the remediation system both in terms of electron donor placement and longevity.


Bioremediation; DNAPL; Emulsified vegetable oil; Partitioning donor; Soil column; Trichloroethylene; pH effect

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