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In Situ Bioremediation of Perchlorate in Vadose Zone Soil Using Gaseous Electron Donors

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Final rept.

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Perchlorate is a human health concern because of its ability to inhibit iodide uptake by the thyroid. Perchlorate is present in soil, groundwater, and many potable water supplies. Costs for mitigating these perchlorate impacts can be significant thus demonstration and validation of cost-effective treatment technologies is critical to the Department of Defense DoD. While extensive research and technology development on the treatment of perchlorate in water has been conducted, limited research and technology development has been focused on perchlorate in soil. Perchlorate contamination in soil is important because of it can be a source of groundwater contamination. Currently, available technologies for the treatment of perchlorate in soil require excavation and are not always cost-effective or practical, particularly as the depth of contamination increases. When applicable, excavation followed by anaerobic biodegradation has proven to be effective. In situ remediation of perchlorate in soil is an alternative, potentially more cost-effective solution. Gaseous electron donor injection technology or GEDIT U.S. Patent No. 7,282,149 and patent pending involves injection of gaseous electron donors into the soil with the purpose of promoting anaerobic biodegradation of perchlorate to water and chloride ion. This technology can be viewed as bioventing in reverse. Bioventing, a proven bioremediation technology for petroleum hydrocarbons, involves the injection of a gaseous electron acceptor e.g., oxygen into the vadose zone resulting in the biodegradation of an electron donor e.g., hydrocarbons. In the present application, the electron acceptor and donor are reversed with the gaseous electron donor being injected in order to biodegrade the electron acceptor i.e., perchlorate or nitrate.

Subject Categories:

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Solid State Physics
  • Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control

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