Intrinsic Bioremediation: Process Demonstration and Evaluation

EPA Grant Number: GF9502150
Title: Intrinsic Bioremediation: Process Demonstration and Evaluation
Investigators: Williamson, Derek
Institution: The University of Texas at Austin
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: August 15, 1995 through January 1, 2000
Project Amount: $31,500
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Engineering


The objectives of this research are to use field site data and samples to: 1) demonstrate that the primary natural attenuation mechanism for mobile polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at selected remediation sites is biological transformation, 2) indicate conditions in soil and ground water systems under which intrinsic bioremediation will occur, and 3) provide parameters that may be used as input for models of intrinsic bioremediation under field conditions. To accomplish the objectives of this study several sites must be identified and involved parties must be willing to provide access to site data samples. At least one site from each of the following three classes will be used: class 1) sites where compounds of concern are mobile, the saturated zone is the zone of interest, aquifer solids contain low levels of organic carbon, and the source has been removed; class 2) similar to class 1 except that a source is still present; and class 3) characterized by the presence of low mobility residual organics from prior remediation processes. The first step is determining if the site soils are capable of degrading the compounds of concern. The second step is to demonstrate the occurrence of intrinsic bioremediation by monitoring 1)compounds of concern, 2)electron acceptors, and 3) nutrient levels in the soil and ground water phases at the demonstration sites. Wells and soil cores will be used to provide these samples. Monitoring will be performed periodically, so that rates of removal of chemicals and rates of depletion of electron acceptors and nutrients can be determined. This research will integrate field and lab data to provide a better understanding of the fate of PAHs in the subsurface under natural conditions. By working closely with industrial site representatives the project will reflect "real world" engineering needs and will provide input data needed by the modeling community to more accurately describe intrinsic bioremediation at coal-tar and wood-preserving sites.

Supplemental Keywords:

Scientific Discipline, Air, Waste, Chemical Engineering, Remediation, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Biochemistry, Bioremediation, Biology, Environmental Engineering, biological transformation, PAH, process evaluation, PAHs, wood-preserving sites, process demonstration, biotransformation, intrinsic bioremediation

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • Final