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Identification of Abiotic Degradation Pathways of Chlorinated Ethenes by Compound-specific Stable Isotope Analysis: A Proof-of-Concept Study

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[Technical Report, Final Report]

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Legacy spills of chlorinated ethenes CEs remain one of the key environmental challenges, at DOD facilities and elsewhere, in the US and worldwide. At certain sites, abiotic degradation of CEs may be an important attenuation mechanism. Unequivocal demonstration and quantitation of abiotic contaminant mass destruction remains difficult, typically, due to the absence of pathway-specific degradation products or due to poor mass balance of such products. To fully benefit from abiotic degradation in contaminant remediation work, the process must be documentable. This study explored the utility of multielement Compound-specific Isotope Analysis CSIA to identify evidence of abiotic degradation in scenarios with concurrent abiotic and biological degradation. The objective was to identify isotope parameters that would be diagnostic of abiotic pathways including in the present of degradation yield from concurrent biodegradation of the same CEs.


Subject Categories:

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Water Pollution and Control
  • Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particle Physics

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[A, Approved For Public Release]