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Field Demonstration of a Novel Biotreatment Process for Perchlorate Reduction in Groundwater

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A technology demonstration was conducted at the Well 2 in Rialto, California to treat perchlorate contaminated groundwater using a novel biological treatment system. The new treatment relies on autotrophic perchlorate reducing bacteria immobilized on zero valent iron ZVI. As ZVI corrodes in water, hydrogen is released from the reduction of water which is then used by perchlorate reducing bacteria as a source of electrons. Prior to this technology demonstration, we conducted extensive research in the laboratory to determine the treatment performance under a range of simulated field conditions and to develop a better understanding of the treatment process. The results of the laboratory studies formed the basis of this ESTCP award, as they showed that the process was very promising with relatively high perchlorate reduction rates. Also, hydrogen has significant advantages compared to organic carbon as an electron donor. It minimizes biomass growth and has a low potential for disinfection by-products precursors compared to organic substrates such as acetate. Other potential advantages include the possible reduction biotic or abiotic of nitrate, TCE, hexavalent chromium, and the possible control by adsorption of chromium, uranium, and arsenic ions. The concept could also be translated into subsurface treatment, for example in a funnel and gate reactive barrier. The main objective of this project was to test and demonstrate the efficacy of the ZVI supported biological reduction of perchlorate. Additional objectives were to 1 obtain pertinent data that will guide full-scale design and operation, 2 provide relevant data for treatment cost estimation and comparison, 3 provide the necessary data leading to possible permitting of the process by California DPH, and 4 disseminate the results in various forms to promote technology transfer.

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  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Water Pollution and Control

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