in situ bioremediation: when does it work?

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  • In Situ

    ^ioremediatic&!?/ ,^00**en does !t wor '

  • In SituBioremediation

    When does it work?

    Committee on In Situ Bioremediation

    Water Science and Technology Board

    Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

    National Research Council


  • TNational Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418

    NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the GoverningBoard of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils

    of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and theInstitute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report werechosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

    This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to

    procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of theNational Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Insti-tute of Medicine.

    Support for this project was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencyunder Agreement No. CR 820730-01-0, the National Science Foundation under Agree-ment No. BCS-9213271, the Electric Power Research Institute under Agreement No.

    RP2879-26, the Gas Research Institute, the American Petroleum Institute, Chevron USA,Inc., and the Mobil Oil Corporation.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    In situ bioremediation / Water Science and Technology Board,Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, National ResearchCouncil.

    p. cm.

    Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 0-309-04896-61. In situ bioremediation Evaluation. I. National Research

    Council (U.S.). Water Science and Technology Board.TD192.5.I53 1993 93-5531

    628.5'2 dc20 CIP

    Copyright 1993 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


    Cover art by Y. David Chung. Title design by Rumen Buzatov. Chung and Buzatovare graduates of the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. Chung has exhibited

    widely throughout the country, including at the Whitney Museum in New York, theWashington Project for the Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Williams College Mu-seum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

    In brilliant colors, the cover art shows the amazing variety of unusual shapesfound in bacterial life forms.

    Printed in the United States of America


  • COMMITTEE ON IN SITU BIOREMEDIATIONBRUCE E. RITTMANN, Chair, Northwestern University, Evanston,


    LISA ALVAREZ-COHEN, University of California, BerkeleyPHILIP B. BEDIENT, Rice University, Houston, TexasRICHARD A. BROWN, Groundwater Technology, Inc., Trenton,

    New JerseyFRANCIS H. CHAPELLE, U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia, South


    PETER K. KITANIDIS, Stanford University, Stanford, CaliforniaEUGENE L. MADSEN, Cornell University, Ithaca, New YorkWILLIAM R. MAHAFFEY, ECOVA Corporation, Redmond,

    WashingtonROBERT D. NORRIS, Eckenfelder, Inc., Nashville, TennesseeJOSEPH P. SALANITRO, Shell Development Company, Houston,


    JOHN M. SHAUVER, Michigan Department of Natural Resources,Lansing, Michigan

    JAMES M. TIEDJE, Michigan State University, East Lansing,Michigan

    JOHN T. WILSON, Robert S. Kerr Environmental ResearchLaboratory, Ada, Oklahoma

    RALPH S. WOLFE, University of Illinois, Urbana


    JACQUELINE A. MACDONALD, Study DirectorGREGORY K. NYCE, Senior Project AssistantGREICY AMJADIVALA, Project AssistantWYETHA TURNEY, Word ProcessorKENNETH M. REESE, Editorial ConsultantBARBARA A. BODLING, Editorial Consultant

    Hi UnivorQitv I i


    DANIEL A. OKUN, Chair, University of North Carolina, Chapel HillA. DAN TARLOCK, Vice Chair, 111 Chicago-Kent College of Law,

    Chicago, Illinois

    J- DAN ALLEN, Chevron USA, Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana'KENNETH D. FREDERICK, Resources for the Future, Washington,


    DAVID L. FREYBERG, Stanford University, Stanford, CaliforniaWILFORD R. GARDNER, University of California, BerkeleyDUANE L. GEORGESON, Metropolitan Water District of Southern

    California, Los AngelesLYNN R. GOLDMAN, California Department of Health Services,

    EmeryvilleWILLIAM L. GRAF, Arizona State University, TempeTHOMAS M. HELLMAN, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company New

    York, New YorkROBERT J. HUGGETT, College of William and Mary, Gloucester

    Point, VirginiaCHARLES C. JOHNSON, Consultant, Bethesda, MarylandJUDY L. MEYER, University of Georgia, AthensSTAVROS S. PAPADOPULOS, S. S. Papadopulos & Associates, Inc.,

    Bethesda, MarylandKENNETH W. POTTER, University of Wisconsin-MadisonSS?2 J SJJ?^^' Northwestem University, Evanston, IllinoisPHILIP C. SINGER, University of North Carolina, Chapel HillJOY B. ZEDLER, San Diego State University, San Diego, California


    STEPHEN D. PARKER, DirectorSARAH CONNICK, Senior Staff OfficerSHEILA D. DAVID, Senior Staff OfficerCHRIS ELFRING, Senior Staff OfficerGARY D. KRAUSS, Staff OfficerJACQUELINE A. MACDONALD, Staff Officer^r^/SY ' Adm^^ative AssociateANITA A. HALL, Administrative AssistantG^?OW t SS' Senior pr Ject AssistantGREGORY K. NYCE, Senior Project Assistant


    ALBERT R. C. WESTWOOD, Chair, Martin Marietta Corporation,Bethesda, Maryland

    NANCY CONNERY, Woolwich, MaineRICHARD A. CONWAY, Union Carbide Corporation, South

    Charleston, West VirginiaGERARD W. ELVERUM, JR., TRW Space & Technology Group,

    Banning, California

    E. R. (VALD) HEIBERG III, J. A. Jones Construction ServicesCompany, Charlotte, North Carolina

    WILLIAM G. HOWARD, JR., Scottsdale, ArizonaJOHN MCCARTHY, Stanford University, Stanford, CaliforniaALTON D. SLAY, Slay Enterprises, Inc., Warrenton, VirginiaJAMES J. SOLBERG, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IndianaCHARLES F. TIFFANY, Boeing Military Airplane Company, Yuma,

    Arizona (Retired)JOHN A. TILLINGHAST, TILTEC, Portsmouth, New HampshirePAUL TORGERSEN, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State

    University, BlacksburgGEORGE L. TURIN, Teknekron Corporation, Menlo Park, CaliforniaJOHN B. WACHTMAN, JR., Rutgers University, Piscataway, New

    JerseyBRIAN J. WATT, Joy Technologies, Inc., Houston, TexasWILLIAM C. WEBSTER, University of California, BerkeleyROBERT V. WHITMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,



    ARCHIE L. WOOD, Executive DirectorMARLENE BEAUDIN, Associate Executive DirectorMARY FRANCES LEE, Director of OperationsROBERT KATT, Associate Director for Quality ManagementLYNN KASPER, Assistant EditorTEREE DITTMAR, Administrative AssistantSYLVIA GILBERT, Administrative Assistant

  • The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-

    perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific

    and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and

    technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the au-

    thority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Acad-

    emy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal governmenton scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is presidentof the National Academy of Sciences.

    The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964,under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallelorganization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its ad-ministration and in the selection of its members, sharing with theNational Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the fed-eral government. The National Academy of Engineering also spon-sors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encour-

    ages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievementsof engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Acad-

    emy of Engineering.The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National

    Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of

    appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertain-ing to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsi-bility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressionalcharter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its owninitiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education.Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

    The National Research Council was organized by the National

    Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community ofscience and technology with the Academy's purposes of furtheringknowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in ac-cordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Councilhas become the principal operating agency of both the National Academyof Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providingservices to the government, the public, and the scientific and engi-neering communities. The Council is administered jointly by bothAcademies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts andDr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, ofthe National Research Council.


  • Preface

    Bioremediation is a technology that is gaining momentum in technical,policy, and popular circles. It also is a technology associated with

    mystery, controversy, and "snake oil salesmen." When a representa-tive of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggested in thefall of 1991 that the Water Science and Technology Board conduct a

    study on bioremediation, it converged with the board's internal ini-tiative to "do something" in the area. Several high-quality work-

    shops and conference


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