The Need for Bioaugmentation After Thermal Treatmetn of a TCE-Contaminated Aquifer: Laboratory Experiments
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Friis, A.K., H.-J. Alberchtsen, E. Cox, P.L. Bjerg, "The Need for Bioaugmentation After Thermal Treatment of a TCE-Contaminated Aquifer:_ Laboratory Experiments, " Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 88 (2006), pp. 235-248.

A microcosm study was conducted to evaluate the need for bioaugmentation after a thermal treatment to anaerobically dechlorinate trichloroethene (TCE) to ethene. The microcosms were either: heated to 100 degrees C and slowly cooled to simulate thermal remediation while bioaugmenting when the declining temperature reached 10 degrees C; or kept at ambient groundwater temperatures (10 degrees C) and bioaugmented for comparison. Aquifer samples from three sediment locations within a TCE-polluted source zone were investigated in duplicate microcosms. In biostimulated (5 mM lactate) and heated microcosms, no conversion of TCE was observed in 4 out of 6 microcosms, and in the remaining microcosms the dechlorination of TCE was incomplete to cDCE (cis-dichloroethene). By comparison, complete TCE dechlorination to ethene was observed in 4 out of 6 heated microcosms that were bioaugmented with a highly enriched dechlorinating mixed culture, KB-1, but no electron donor, and also in 4 of 6 microcosms that were augmented with KB-1 and an electron donor (5 mM lactate). These data suggest that electron donor released during heating, was capable of promoting complete dechlorination coincident with bioaugmentation. Heated microcosms demonstrated less methanogenesis than unheated microcosms, even with elevated H2 concentrations and addition of KB-1, which contains methanogens. This suggests that the heating process suppressed the native microbial community, which can decrease competition with the bioaugmented culture and increase the effectiveness of dechlorination following a thermal treatment. Specifically, cDCE removal rates were four to six times higher in heated than unheated bioaugmented microcosms. This study confirms the need for bioaugmentation following a laboratory thermal treatment to obtain complete dechlorination of TCE.

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