October 25, 2014

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Geosyntec Wins Research Grant from the National Institute of Health

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a division of the National Institute of Health in Bethesda Maryland (NIH), has awarded the team of Geosyntec Consultants, the Johns Hopkins University, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) a $700,000 grant to perform novel and applied research regarding bioremediation of chlorinated benzenes in groundwater and sediments.

Principal investigators for the research project include Dr. Neal Durant and Dr. Amar Wadhawan of Geosyntec’s Columbia Maryland office, as well as Dr. Edward Bouwer of Johns Hopkins and Dr. Michelle Lorah of USGS. The four year project, entitled "Dual-Biofilm Reactive Barrier for Treatment of Chlorinated Benzenes at Anaerobic-Aerobic Interfaces in Contaminated Groundwater and Sediments", involves a series of laboratory experiments and field pilot tests aimed at elucidating biogeochemical interactions affecting bioavailability of chlorinated benzenes during in situ remediation of chlorobenzene contaminated groundwater and sediments using a dual-biofilm barrier approach.

The dual-biofilm barrier innovatively combines both an anaerobic dehalogenating consortia and aerobic oxidizing bacteria, seeded on granular activated carbon, to achieve complete transformation of higher chlorinated benzenes to carbon dioxide, which otherwise commonly stalls at formation of monochlorobenzene and benzene upon reductive dechlorination of higher chlorinated benzenes. The biobarrier approach will be tested at the Standard Chlorine of Delaware site, a Superfund site impacted with a variety of organic contaminants, including chlorinated benzenes.

A summary of the project is provided on the NIH website. For additional information regarding bioremediation of chlorinated benzenes, please contact Neal Durant at 410-910-7642 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and Amar Wadhawan at 410-910-7619 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..