Plant Assisted Remediation of Soil and Groundwater Contaminated by Hazardous Organic Substances: Experimental and Modeling Studies

EPA Grant Number: R825549C062
Subproject: this is subproject number 062 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825549
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - Great Plains/Rocky Mountain HSRC
Center Director: Erickson, Larry E.
Title: Plant Assisted Remediation of Soil and Groundwater Contaminated by Hazardous Organic Substances: Experimental and Modeling Studies
Investigators: Davis, L. C. , Erickson, Larry E.
Institution: Kansas State University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: May 18, 1995 through September 30, 2000
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Phytoremediation , Land and Waste Management

Objective:

The objectives of this project are to; 1) Develop an experimental system with horizontal wells to add oxygen for enhanced aerobic biodegradation; 2) monitor transfer of contaminants through plants; 3) further develop a mathematical model to describe the fate of water, contaminant, root-exudates, plants, microbes, and oxygen in laboratory and field systems; 4) apply plant- asisted technology to one or more field sites.

Approach:

The available literature related to the fate of organic substances in the plant's root zone was reviewed. A prototype system was built and used for the study of bioremediation of groundwater assisted by plants. A model was developed to treat simple cases of a uniform gradient of root distribution, non-limiting oxygen supply, variable respirable substrate and biodegradation rates while including both infiltration and transpiration components of water flow. Extensive degradation of toluene and phenol was established. Significant breakdown of trichloroethylene was also observed.

Based on experience with the prototype system, a new system has been constructed with more (6) but shorter (1.15 m) path-length channels and a depth of 60 cm. It will permit introduction of controlled amounts of air into the soil, either above or below the water table, in two of the channels. By use of evolutionary operation design, the performance of the system will be optimized to minimize air input and maximize degradation of the target substances. Material balance measures will be used to determine the fate of target substances. Potential intermedia transfer will be monitored by FTIR measurements on the gas phase above the growing plants, while changes in contaminant concentration in the groundwater will be monitored by headspace gas chromatography or FT-IR of aqueous samples.

The groundwater flow and transport model has been used to give good fits to the flow behavior of a KBr tracer and toluene in the present prototype system. It will be used to model behavior of contaminants in the new system under several experimental conditions, including air supply near or below the water table. The model will be further refined to improve the fit of predicted to observed behavior. It will then be applied to field situations where monitoring wells are in place, for instance near landfills.

Expected Results:

The expected result from this study is to better understand and predict the effects that plants have on soil and groundwater remediation, so that effective planting and management plans can be developed.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 112 publications for this subprojectView all 904 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 15 journal articles for this subprojectView all 182 journal articles for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

phytovolatilization, MTBE, jet fuel., Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Environmental Chemistry, Contaminated Sediments, Fate & Transport, Ecology and Ecosystems, Bioremediation, 33/50, fate and transport, degradation, microbiology, contaminant transport, aerobic degradation, microbial degradation, biodegradation, contaminated sediment, hazardous waste, adsorption, chemical transport, hazardous organic substances, bioremediation of soils, chemical kinetics, geochemistry, contaminants in soil, photodegradation, groundwater contamination, 1, 1, 1-Trichloroethane, sorption experiments, phytoremediation, contaminant transport models, bacterial degradation, contaminated soils

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1995
  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825549    HSRC (1989) - Great Plains/Rocky Mountain HSRC

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825549C006 Fate of Trichloroethylene (TCE) in Plant/Soil Systems
    R825549C007 Experimental Study of Stabilization/Solidification of Hazardous Wastes
    R825549C008 Modeling Dissolved Oxygen, Nitrate and Pesticide Contamination in the Subsurface Environment
    R825549C009 Vadose Zone Decontamination by Air Venting
    R825549C010 Thermochemical Treatment of Hazardous Wastes
    R825549C011 Development, Characterization and Evaluation of Adsorbent Regeneration Processes for Treament of Hazardous Waste
    R825549C012 Computer Method to Estimate Safe Level Water Quality Concentrations for Organic Chemicals
    R825549C013 Removal of Nitrogenous Pesticides from Rural Well-Water Supplies by Enzymatic Ozonation Process
    R825549C014 The Characterization and Treatment of Hazardous Materials from Metal/Mineral Processing Wastes
    R825549C015 Adsorption of Hazardous Substances onto Soil Constituents
    R825549C016 Reclamation of Metal and Mining Contaminated Superfund Sites using Sewage Sludge/Fly Ash Amendment
    R825549C017 Metal Recovery and Reuse Using an Integrated Vermiculite Ion Exchange - Acid Recovery System
    R825549C018 Removal of Heavy Metals from Hazardous Wastes by Protein Complexation for their Ultimate Recovery and Reuse
    R825549C019 Development of In-situ Biodegradation Technology
    R825549C020 Migration and Biodegradation of Pentachlorophenol in Soil Environment
    R825549C021 Deep-Rooted Poplar Trees as an Innovative Treatment Technology for Pesticide and Toxic Organics Removal from Soil and Groundwater
    R825549C022 In-situ Soil and Aquifer Decontaminaiton using Hydrogen Peroxide and Fenton's Reagent
    R825549C023 Simulation of Three-Dimensional Transport of Hazardous Chemicals in Heterogeneous Soil Cores Using X-ray Computed Tomography
    R825549C024 The Response of Natural Groundwater Bacteria to Groundwater Contamination by Gasoline in a Karst Region
    R825549C025 An Electrochemical Method for Acid Mine Drainage Remediation and Metals Recovery
    R825549C026 Sulfide Size and Morphology Identificaiton for Remediation of Acid Producing Mine Wastes
    R825549C027 Heavy Metals Removal from Dilute Aqueous Solutions using Biopolymers
    R825549C028 Neutron Activation Analysis for Heavy Metal Contaminants in the Environment
    R825549C029 Reducing Heavy Metal Availability to Perennial Grasses and Row-Crops Grown on Contaminated Soils and Mine Spoils
    R825549C030 Alachlor and Atrazine Losses from Runoff and Erosion in the Blue River Basin
    R825549C031 Biodetoxification of Mixed Solid and Hazardous Wastes by Staged Anaerobic Fermentation Conducted at Separate Redox and pH Environments
    R825549C032 Time Dependent Movement of Dioxin and Related Compounds in Soil
    R825549C033 Impact of Soil Microflora on Revegetation Efforts in Southeast Kansas
    R825549C034 Modeling the use of Plants in Remediation of Soil and Groundwater Contaminated by Hazardous Organic Substances
    R825549C035 Development of Electrochemical Processes for Improved Treatment of Lead Wastes
    R825549C036 Innovative Treatment and Bank Stabilization of Metals-Contaminated Soils and Tailings along Whitewood Creek, South Dakota
    R825549C037 Formation and Transformation of Pesticide Degradation Products Under Various Electron Acceptor Conditions
    R825549C038 The Effect of Redox Conditions on Transformations of Carbon Tetrachloride
    R825549C039 Remediation of Soil Contaminated with an Organic Phase
    R825549C040 Intelligent Process Design and Control for the Minimization of Waste Production and Treatment of Hazardous Waste
    R825549C041 Heavy Metals Removal from Contaminated Water Solutions
    R825549C042 Metals Soil Pollution and Vegetative Remediation
    R825549C043 Fate and Transport of Munitions Residues in Contaminated Soil
    R825549C044 The Role of Metallic Iron in the Biotransformation of Chlorinated Xenobiotics
    R825549C045 Use of Vegetation to Enhance Bioremediation of Surface Soils Contaminated with Pesticide Wastes
    R825549C046 Fate and Transport of Heavy Metals and Radionuclides in Soil: The Impacts of Vegetation
    R825549C047 Vegetative Interceptor Zones for Containment of Heavy Metal Pollutants
    R825549C048 Acid-Producing Metalliferous Waste Reclamation by Material Reprocessing and Vegetative Stabilization
    R825549C049 Laboratory and Field Evaluation of Upward Mobilization and Photodegradation of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxins and Furans in Soil
    R825549C050 Evaluation of Biosparging Performance and Process Fundamentals for Site Remediation
    R825549C051 Field Scale Bioremediation: Relationship of Parent Compound Disappearance to Humification, Mineralization, Leaching, Volatilization of Transformaiton Intermediates
    R825549C052 Chelating Extraction of Heavy Metals from Contaminated Soils
    R825549C053 Application of Anaerobic and Multiple-Electron-Acceptor Bioremediation to Chlorinated Aliphatic Subsurface Contamination
    R825549C054 Application of PGNAA Remote Sensing Methods to Real-Time, Non-Intrusive Determination of Contaminant Profiles in Soils
    R825549C055 Design and Development of an Innovative Industrial Scale Process to Economically Treat Waste Zinc Residues
    R825549C056 Remediation of Soils Contaminated with Wood-Treatment Chemicals (PCP and Creosote)
    R825549C057 Effects of Surfactants on the Bioavailability and Biodegradation of Contaminants in Soils
    R825549C058 Contaminant Binding to the Humin Fraction of Soil Organic Matter
    R825549C059 Identifying Ground-Water Threats from Improperly Abandoned Boreholes
    R825549C060 Uptake of BTEX Compounds by Hybrid Poplar Trees in Hazardous Waste Remediation
    R825549C061 Biofilm Barriers for Waste Containment
    R825549C062 Plant Assisted Remediation of Soil and Groundwater Contaminated by Hazardous Organic Substances: Experimental and Modeling Studies
    R825549C063 Extension of Laboratory Validated Treatment and Remediation Technologies to Field Problems in Aquifer Soil and Water Contamination by Organic Waste Chemicals