Influence of Nonionic Surfactants on the Bioavailability of Chlorinated Benzenes for Microbial Reductive Dechlorination

EPA Grant Number: R825404
Title: Influence of Nonionic Surfactants on the Bioavailability of Chlorinated Benzenes for Microbial Reductive Dechlorination
Investigators: Pavlostathis, Spyros G. , Pennell, Kurt D.
Current Investigators: Pavlostathis, Spyros G. , Marti, Charlotte A. , Pennell, Kurt D. , Yeh, Daniel H , Karagunduz, Ahmet , Chang, Eric
Institution: Georgia Technology Research Corporation
Current Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: November 12, 1996 through November 11, 1999
Project Amount: $333,348
RFA: Environmental Fate and Treatment of Toxics and Hazardous Wastes (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management , Safer Chemicals


The primary goal of this project is to systematically assess the use of surfactants to increase the bioavailability of chlorinated benzenes for microbial reductive dechlorination. Biodegradable surfactants which could serve as electron donors for the reductive dechlorination process will be selected. Surfactant-aided desorption of hexachlorobenzene, quantification of sorption and transport of surfactants in aquifer material as well as simultaneous desorption and biotransformation of chlorinated benzenes in the presence of surfactants will be evaluated. Experimental measurements in batch and column systems will be linked to mathematical modeling for the description of coupled transport, sorption and biotransformation of both surfactant and organic contaminants.

Comparatively little information is available on the use of surfactants to facilitate the biotransformation of hydrophobic contaminants under anaerobic conditions, the aerobic biodegradability of many surfactants, and the potential use of surfactants as electron donors for the microbial reductive dechlorination process. In addition, many studies have failed to address the potentially negative impacts of surfactant treatments on contaminant biotransformation. The results from this investigation will aid in our understanding of the above considerations and also provide insights into the desirability of the use of biodegradable surfactants in bioremediation efforts. It is anticipated that this project will lead to the development of a process which combines the use of surfactants and microbial reductive dechlorination for the biotransformation of polychlorinated organic compounds, especially those that are strongly sorbed. This research project will also provide information on the potential effect of nonionic surfactants on the anaerobic biotransformation of contaminants during surfactant use for the in-situ remediation of non-aqueous-phase liquids.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 13 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 2 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Waste, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Bioavailability, Environmental Chemistry, HAPS, Chemistry, Fate & Transport, Bioremediation, 33/50, fate and transport, microbiology, bioremediation model, surfactant-aided desportion, sorption kinetics, benzene, chemical transport, kinetic studies, hazardous waste, biotechnology, hazardous waste cleanup, geochemistry, environmental toxicant, mobility, biotransformation, chemical releases, contaminant release, waste chemicals, Benzene (including benzene from gasoline), chlorinated benzenes, nonionic surfactants, microbial reductive dechlorination, chlorinated solvents, transport

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997 Progress Report
  • 1998 Progress Report
  • Final Report