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  • In Situ Bioremediation of DNAPL Source Zones

    August 2005

    Prepared by

    Lisa Moretti National Network of Environmental Management Studies Fellow

    for

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response

    Technology Innovation and Field Services Division Washington, DC

    www.epa.gov www.clu-in.org

    http://www.epa.gov http://www.clu-in.org

  • In Situ Bioremediation of DNAPL Source Zones

    i

    NOTICE

    This document was prepared by a National Network of Environmental Management Studies grantee under a fellowship from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This report was not subject to EPA peer review or technical review. EPA makes no warranties, expressed or implied, including without limitation, warranties for completeness, accuracy, usefulness of the information, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose. Moreover, the listing of any technology, corporation, company, person, or facility in this report does not constitute endorsement, approval, or recommendation by EPA. The report contains information gathered from a range of currently available sources, including project documents, reports, periodicals, Internet searches, and personal communication with involved parties. No attempts were made to independently confirm the resources used. It has been reproduced to help provide federal agencies, states, consulting engineering firms, private industries, and technology developers with information on the current status of this project.

    About the National Network for Environmental Management Studies The National Network for Environmental Management Studies (NNEMS) is a comprehensive fellowship program managed by EPA’s Office of Environmental Education. The purpose of the NNEMS Program is to provide students with practical research opportunities and experiences.

    Each participating headquarters or regional office develops and sponsors projects for student research. The projects are narrow in scope to allow the student to complete the research by working full-time during the summer or part-time during the school year. Research fellowships are available in environmental policy, regulations, and law; environmental management and administration; environmental science; public relations and communications; and computer programming and development.

    NNEMS fellows receive a stipend at a level determined by the student’s level of education, the duration of the research project, and the location of the research project. Fellowships are offered to undergraduate and graduate students. Students must meet certain eligibility criteria.

  • In Situ Bioremediation of DNAPL Source Zones

    ii

    FOREWORD

    Abstract EPA’s Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation provided a grant through the National Network for Environmental Management Studies to research in situ bioremediation in DNAPL source areas. This report was prepared by an undergraduate student from Tufts University during the summer of 2005. The report is available on the Internet at www.clu- in.org/studentpapers/.

    The objective of this report is to provide an overview of in situ bioremediation of DNAPL source areas. This report discusses the integral steps when implementing bioremediation, such as site characterization, design considerations, and post-treatment monitoring. In addition, this report also examines the use of bioremediation as a polishing treatment for the source zone. Case studies are included as examples of the use of bioremediation as a stand-alone and a polishing treatment for DNAPL source areas.

    Acknowledgment The author gratefully acknowledges the support received from the EPA’s Technology Information and Field Services Division (TIFSD), and particularly from the Technology Assessment Branch (TAB), while working on this report. Linda Fiedler deserves particular thanks for providing invaluable assistance and direction. The author would also like to acknowledge the resources and guidance given by Dr. Andrew Ramsburg, Dr. Kent Sorenson, and Dave Major.

    http://www.clu-in.org/studentpapers/

  • In Situ Bioremediation of DNAPL Source Zones

    iii

    CONTENTS

    NOTICE ........................................................................................................................................... i FOREWARD .................................................................................................................................. ii CONTENTS................................................................................................................................... iii LIST OF TABLES .......................................................................................................................... v LIST OF FIGURES......................................................................................................................... v ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ...................................................................................... vi 1.0 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................... 1

    1.1 Purpose .................................................................................................................................. 1 1.2 Scope ..................................................................................................................................... 1

    2.0 DENSE NON-AQUEOUS PHASE LIQUID (DNAPL) .......................................................... 2 3.0 BIOREMEDIATION ................................................................................................................ 4

    3.1 Introduction to In Situ Bioremediation of Chlorinated Ethenes............................................ 4 3.2 Biostimulation ....................................................................................................................... 5 3.3 Bioaugmentation ................................................................................................................... 6 3.4 Microorganisms..................................................................................................................... 6 3.5 Source Zone Bioremediation................................................................................................. 7 3.6 Enhanced Dissolution............................................................................................................ 8 3.7 Enhanced Solubilization........................................................................................................ 8

    4.0 SITE CHARACTERIZATION............................................................................................... 10

    4.1 DNAPL Characterization .................................................................................................... 10 4.2 Determining Site Conditions............................................................................................... 11

    4.2.1 Physical Parameters...................................................................................................... 11 4.2.2 Chemical Parameters.................................................................................................... 11 4.2.3 Biological Parameters .................................................................................................. 12

    5.0 SYSTEM DESIGN FOR ENHANCED BIOREMEDIATION.............................................. 13

    5.1 Design Objectives for Enhanced Source Zone Bioremediation.......................................... 13 5.2 Substrate Selection for Biostimulation................................................................................ 13

    5.2.1 Soluble Substrates ........................................................................................................ 13 5.2.2 Viscous Substrates........................................................................................................ 14 5.2.3 Low-Viscosity Fluids ................................................................................................... 15 5.2.4 Experimental Substrates............................................................................................... 15

    5.3 Substrate Delivery for Biostimulation................................................................................. 16 5.4 Monitoring for Reductive Dechlorination........................................................................... 16

    6.0 BIOREMEDIATION AS A SECONDARY TREATMENT.................................................. 18

    6.1 Introduction to Treatment Trains ........................................................................................ 18 6.2 Surfactant-Enhanced Aquifer Remediation (SEAR)........................................................... 18 6.3 Co-solvent Flushing ............................................................................................................ 18 6.4 Thermal Treatment.............................................................................................................. 19

  • In Situ Bioremediation of DNAPL Source Zones

    iv

    6.5 In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) .................................................................................... 19 7.0 FEASIBILITY FOR BIOREMEDIATION OF DNAPLS...................................................... 20

    7.1 Limitations of Bioremediation ............................................................................................ 20 7.2

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