Microbial Treatment of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)

EPA Grant Number: R827015C006
Subproject: this is subproject number 006 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R827015
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: IPEC University of Tulsa (TU)
Center Director: Sublette, Kerry L.
Title: Microbial Treatment of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)
Investigators: Krumholz, Lee R.
Institution: University of Oklahoma
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: July 1, 1999 through June 30, 2000
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Integrated Petroleum Environmental Consortium (IPEC) (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Targeted Research

Objective:

Radioactive material has been known to be associated with both oil and gas deposits for many years. The presence of NORM at oil production facilities has recently increased in significance as federal and state regulatory agencies lay out more stringent guidelines for dealing with it. It will therefore influence Risk based decision making and the overall economics of oil production. In this proposal, we outline a plan to develop a technique for the dissolution of radioactive scale associated with oil production equipment.

Approach:

More specifically, we intend to design an anaerobic microbiological treatment process that will specifically dissolve radium sulfate which has precipitated on equipment in contact with oil production waters. By consuming sulfate and converting it to sulfide, sulfate reducing microorganisms will draw the relatively insoluble radium sulfate into solution as Ra2+. The radium then in solution could be transferred to another vessel where it will be re-precipitated and concentrated as the sulfate or carbonate salt for eventual disposal. The result will be the removal of radioactive material from large pieces of functional equipment with its transfer to a smaller more easily disposed of and less costly vessel. Because barium is very similar to radium in its specific ligand interactions, barium can be used as a surrogate for radium. However, all studies will be verified with radium salts and naturally occurring radium scale from oil production equipment. We will initially focus on (1) optimizing the microbiological conditions needed for the dissolution of radium scale; (2) development of a microbiological system scaled for the treatment of contaminated tools, casings and vessels; (3) optimization of a chemical treatment system using carbonate or sulfate salts for re-precipitating and concentrating radium out of solution for subsequent disposal. These experiments over the short period will generate the initial results needed to determine the viability and cost as well as design a pilot scale system for the use of microbial treatment in dealing with radium containing scale on metal and plastic surfaces.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 2 publications for this subprojectView all 120 publications for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Waste, Water, Sustainable Industry/Business, National Recommended Water Quality, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Remediation, Sustainable Environment, Chemistry, Contaminant Candidate List, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, Hazardous Waste, decision-making, New/Innovative technologies, Ecological Risk Assessment, Biology, Hazardous, 33/50, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, Economics & Decision Making, naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), detoxification, contaminants, microbial degradation, decision making, microorganisms, contaminated equipment, treatment, dissolution, disposal, anaerobic bacterium, radioactive waste

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R827015    IPEC University of Tulsa (TU)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R827015C001 Evaluation of Road Base Material Derived from Tank Bottom Sludges
    R827015C002 Passive Sampling Devices (PSDs) for Bioavailability Screening of Soils Containing Petrochemicals
    R827015C003 Demonstration of a Subsurface Drainage System for the Remediation of Brine-Impacted Soil
    R827015C004 Anaerobic Intrinsic Bioremediation of Whole Gasoline
    R827015C005 Microflora Involved in Phytoremediation of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons
    R827015C006 Microbial Treatment of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)
    R827015C007 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil
    R827015C008 The Use of Nitrate for the Control of Sulfide Formation in Oklahoma Oil Fields
    R827015C009 Surfactant-Enhanced Treatment of Oil-Contaminated Soils and Oil-Based Drill Cuttings
    R827015C010 Novel Materials for Facile Separation of Petroleum Products from Aqueous Mixtures Via Magnetic Filtration
    R827015C011 Development of Relevant Ecological Screening Criteria (RESC) for Petroleum Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Exploration and Production Sites
    R827015C012 Humate-Induced Remediation of Petroleum Contaminated Surface Soils
    R827015C013 New Process for Plugging Abandoned Wells
    R827015C014 Enhancement of Microbial Sulfate Reduction for the Remediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Aquifers - A Laboratory and Field Scale Demonstration
    R827015C015 Locating Oil-Water Interfaces in Process Vessels
    R827015C016 Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay
    R827015C017 Continuation of an Investigation into the Anaerobic Intrinsic Bioremediation of Whole Gasoline
    R827015C018 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil
    R827015C019 Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Salt-Impacted Soil by Native Halophiles or Halotolerants and Strategies for Enhanced Degradation
    R827015C020 Anaerobic Intrinsic Bioremediation of MTBE
    R827015C021 Evaluation of Commercial, Microbial-Based Products to Treat Paraffin Deposition in Tank Bottoms and Oil Production Equipment
    R827015C022 A Continuation: Humate-Induced Remediation of Petroleum Contaminated Surface Soils
    R827015C023 Data for Design of Vapor Recovery Units for Crude Oil Stock Tank Emissions
    R827015C024 Development of an Environmentally Friendly and Economical Process for Plugging Abandoned Wells
    R827015C025 A Continuation of Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay
    R827015C026 Identifying the Signature of the Natural Attenuation of MTBE in Goundwater Using Molecular Methods and "Bug Traps"
    R827015C027 Identifying the Signature of Natural Attenuation in the Microbial Ecology of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Groundwater Using Molecular Methods and "Bug Traps"
    R827015C028 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil: Project Continuation
    R827015C030 Effective Stormwater and Sediment Control During Pipeline Construction Using a New Filter Fence Concept
    R827015C031 Evaluation of Sub-micellar Synthetic Surfactants versus Biosurfactants for Enhanced LNAPL Recovery
    R827015C032 Utilization of the Carbon and Hydrogen Isotopic Composition of Individual Compounds in Refined Hydrocarbon Products To Monitor Their Fate in the Environment
    R830633 Integrated Petroleum Environmental Consortium (IPEC)
    R830633C001 Development of an Environmentally Friendly and Economical Process for Plugging Abandoned Wells (Phase II)
    R830633C002 A Continuation of Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay
    R830633C003 Effective Stormwater and Sediment Control During Pipeline Construction Using a New Filter Fence Concept
    R830633C004 Evaluation of Sub-micellar Synthetic Surfactants versus Biosurfactants for Enhanced LNAPL Recovery
    R830633C005 Utilization of the Carbon and Hydrogen Isotopic Composition of Individual Compounds in Refined Hydrocarbon Products To Monitor Their Fate in the Environment
    R830633C006 Evaluation of Commercial, Microbial-Based Products to Treat Paraffin Deposition in Tank Bottoms and Oil Production Equipment
    R830633C007 Identifying the Signature of the Natural Attenuation in the Microbial Ecology of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Groundwater Using Molecular Methods and “Bug Traps”
    R830633C008 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil: Project Continuation
    R830633C009 Use of Earthworms to Accelerate the Restoration of Oil and Brine Impacted Sites