Bioavailability, Complex Mixtures, and In-Situ Bioremediation of Organic Contaminants

EPA Grant Number: R825415
Title: Bioavailability, Complex Mixtures, and In-Situ Bioremediation of Organic Contaminants
Investigators: Brusseau, Mark , Miller-Maier, Raina M.
Institution: University of Arizona
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: November 1, 1996 through October 31, 1999
Project Amount: $487,377
RFA: DOE/EPA/NSF/ONR Joint Program on Bioremediation (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management


The overall goal of the proposed project is to enhance our understanding of the impact of bioavailability on the biodegradation and in-situ bioremediation of organic contaminants in subsurface systems. The specific objectives that will be addressed to accomplish this goal are: (1) investigate the effect of sorption contact time and rate-limited desorption on bioavailability and biodegradation of organic compounds; (2) investigate the bioavailability and biodegradation of complex mixtures of organic liquids; and (3) evaluate the use of biosurfactants for enhancing bioavailability and biodegradation of complex mixtures.

The basis of this research is an integrated physicochemical and microbiological approach to investigate the relative impacts of low aqueous solubility, sorption, and aging on bioavailability of components of complex mixtures under transport conditions. These experiments will be designed and conducted, in part, using a contaminated site at Hill Air Force Base as a model system. The site is contaminated by typical fuel-associated compounds, and a multi-component immiscible-liquid phase is present in the subsurface.

The results of the proposed research will enhance our understanding of how kinetically controlled mass-transfer processes, such as desorption and multicomponent-liquid dissolution, influence the magnitude and rate of biodegradation in subsurface systems. This research will provide information useful for identifying the conditions under which in-situ bioremediation will be successful, and for the manipulation of subsurface systems to enhance the effectiveness of in-situ bioremediation. In addition, the improved understanding of bioavailability processes will enhance the ability to evaluate the risk associated with the use of alternative endpoints for site cleanup.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 17 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 6 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Hydrocarbon, Vadose zone, environmental biology, groundwater, environmental chemistry, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Waste, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Bioavailability, Ecology, Remediation, Environmental Chemistry, State, Chemistry, HAPS, chemical mixtures, Bioremediation, Biology, Engineering, complex mixtures, fate and transport, microbiology, hydrocarbon, biodegradation, Hill Air Force Base, subsurface systems, mass transfer, adsorption, chemical transport, sorption contact time, hazardous waste cleanup, in situ bioremediation, Arizona (AZ), chemical releases, vadose zone, biosurfactant specifity, organic contaminants, bacterial degradation

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997
  • 1998 Progress Report
  • Final Report