Field Sampling and Treatability Study for In-Situ Remediation of PCB's and Leachable Lead with Iron Powder

EPA Grant Number: R825511C019
Subproject: this is subproject number 019 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825511
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - Northeast HSRC
Center Director: Sidhu, Sukh S.
Title: Field Sampling and Treatability Study for In-Situ Remediation of PCB's and Leachable Lead with Iron Powder
Investigators: Liskowitz, John W. , Librizzi, William A.
Institution: New Jersey Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: June 1, 2000 through June 30, 2001
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Substance Research Centers , Land and Waste Management


The project will demonstrate the feasibility of PCB reduction and leachable lead immobilization through the use of zero-valent iron powder. The project will also advance the knowledge and validate the use of zero-valent iron powder as an in-situ remediation process for soil sediment and shallow groundwater.


This nine month project will consist of three phases: Phase I-field sampling, Phase II-laboratory bench-scale treatability study of PCBs reduction with iron powder, and Phase III-laboratory bench-scale treatability study of leachable lead immobilization with iron powder. The following is a summary discussion of each Phase:

    · Phase I - Field Sampling: Field sampling will be conducted in two sampling events. Sampling event one will include thirteen (13) locations at surface (0-2 feet) and from depth (2-4 feet). Locations will be the same as previews sampling activities. Analysis to be performed include pH, total PCB, lead, iron, and chloride. Groundwater from different locations will also be colleted and analyzed for lead, iron, pH, and chloride. The second sampling event will focus on selected areas based on the results of the first sampling event. During the second event, sediment and groundwater samples for treatability studies will be collected. Two sediment samples from selected locations designated as relatively high total PCB levels will be collected. From the same two locations, sediment samples will be also collected for baseline PCB congeners analysis, BPh analysis and determination of sediment moisture and chloride concentrations. For lead immobilization kinetics studies, two sediment samples from selected locations with high total lead levels will be collected. In order to ensure accurate and representative results, all of the materials, equipment, and procedures utilized during sampling events, sample storage and preparation for analysis and treatability study must meet NJDEP criteria.

    · Phase II -Treatability Study for PCB's Reduction: The treatability study of PCB's degradation with iron powder will be carried out in sealed 50 ml micro batch reactors. These reactors will be filled without headspace with 25 grams of contaminated sediment, iron powder. The quantities of iron powder placed in the reactor will determined following the completion of the baseline analysis, based upon several key parameters - contaminant concentrations, sediment chemistry and allotted time for reaction to achieve the target reductions and site groundwater. The iron powder selected for use is E-200, which is manufactured in Japan. This iron powder, extensively tested in laboratory scale batch studies and field applications, is amorphous with carbon and consists of practical sizes less than 75 mm and significant quantities of particles that pass through the 350 mesh screen. An adequate system of controls (without powder) will be used to validate contaminant reductions.

    Concentrations of PCB congeners and biphenyl (the final product of PCBs reduction) will be measured in the sediment/groundwater slurry throughout the experiment in a commercial laboratory using standard EPA methods. pH, total iron, and inorganic anions (chloride, sulfate, nitrate and phosphate) and will also be measured to evaluate the effectiveness of the Ferox process and their impact on concentrations of the most important inorganic anions.

    · Phase III-Treatability Study for Lead Immobilization: The treatability study of lead immobilization with Fe powder will also be carried out in sealed micro-batch reactors. These reactors will be filled with defined quantities of contaminated sediment, E-200 iron powder, and site groundwater. The volume of reactors, mass of soils, groundwater and Fe powder will be selected after conducting the baseline analysis. Sediment for the treatability study will be taken from the Site during the second sampling event. Two representative sediment samples from different locations with different dosages of iron powder will be selected for the treatability study. For each sediment samples two different dosages of iron powder will be tested. Two control vials will contain the same sediment/water slurry without iron powder. Leachable lead and pH values will be determined in the aqueous phase of the sediment/water slurry after filtration using a standard EPA procedure. Amount of lead leached from 1g of sediment can be calculated from these analytical data, mass of sediment and volume of water added to a micro-batch reactor. It is anticipated that concentrations of lead in the aqueous phase will be significantly reduce throughout the experiment.

Expected Results:

The in-situ reduction of halogenated organic compounds dissolved in groundwater utilizing zero-valent iron has typically relied on the flow of groundwater through a subsurface permeable reactive barrier (PRB). In its simplest form, PRB consists of a zone of reactive material, such as granular iron, installed in the path of dissolved chlorinated solvent plume. As the groundwater flows through this PRB, the chlorinated toxic compounds come in contact with reactive medium and are degraded to potentially nontoxic hydrocarbons and inorganic chloride. The main advantage of this system is that no pumping or aboveground treatment is required; the barrier acts passively after its installation. However, this PRB approach does not focus on the source of contamination (soils or sediments containing absorbed toxic compounds) and depends entirely on the desorption and dissolution of the contaminants into the groundwater and the subsequent migration to the PRB for treatment. In addition, the emplacement of the PRB requires trenching and intensive construction activities, which can result in significant disturbances to the ecosystem.
ARS Technologies, Inc (ARS) along with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) have expanded upon the above approach through the development of an in-situ remediation process (Ferox) that involves the injection of specific quantities of highly reactive iron powder directly into contaminant zones [Liskowitz, 1999]. These efforts have advanced the knowledge base of the iron powder dehalogenation technology through the identification of critical parameters effecting the reaction performance. By emplacing the iron powder by means of injection, rather than in the form of a reactive wall, soluble, absorbed-phase and free-phase halogenated hydrocarbons all can be reduced to targeted levels.

Recent studies by ARS and Stevens Institute of Technology (NJSIT, 1998) on sediment and pore water from Newton Creek demonstrated rapid and significant reductions of leachable lead within a 30 day period. The results indicated that 99% reduction of leachable lead was achieved in the sediments.

These results and others relative to zero-valent iron powder suggest that this innovative technology may be applicable to the Burnt Fly Bog superfund site, located in Marlboro Township, New Jersey. This site includes a 21 acre wetlands, which has been contaminated by waste, which has migrated from the upland disposal activities of the operation. On the basis of investigations performed, EPA issued a Record of Decision and selected a final remedy in September 1998: limited action with institutional controls. Since the selected remedy will result in contaminants remaining on site, there is concern regarding uptake of PCB's and lead in plants and animal tissue. Therefore, the potential use of an in-situ technology that remediates PCB's and lead without causing significant ecological disruption is of particular interest. Further, this project is important for other industrial sites and landfills where soils or sediments are contaminated with PCB's and leachable lead.

Supplemental Keywords:

In-Situ Remediation, iron powder, reduction, biphenyl., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Waste, Water, Chemical Engineering, Contaminated Sediments, Remediation, Environmental Chemistry, State, Analytical Chemistry, Hazardous Waste, Ecology and Ecosystems, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, hazardous waste management, hazardous waste treatment, risk assessment, sediment treatment, environmental technology, contaminant transport, contaminated marine sediment, in situ remediation, soil and groundwater remediation, wetland sediment, permeable reactive barrier, lead, contaminated sediment, remediation technologies, chemical contaminants, chemical transport, contaminated soil, New Jersey (NJ), field monitoring, marine sediments, PCB, iron, halogenated organic compounds, technology transfer, extraction of metals, permeable barrier technology, groundwater

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825511    HSRC (1989) - Northeast HSRC

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825511C001 Development of Mechanisms and Kinetic Models on Formation of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins and Dibenzofurans from Aromatic Precursors
    R825511C002 Real-Time Monitoring and Control of Emissions from Stationary Combustors and Incinerators
    R825511C003 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    R825511C004 Investigation into the Effectiveness of DNAPL Remediation Strategies in Fractured Media
    R825511C005 Advanced Leak Detection and Location Research: Extending the SERDP-funded Technical Base
    R825511C006 Three-Dimensional Geostatistical Site Characterization with Updating
    R825511C007 Anaerobic Biodegradation of PAHs in Soils and Dredged Sediments: Characterizing, Monitoring and Promoting Remediation
    R825511C008 Substrate Accelerated Death and Extended Lag Phases as Causes of the Recalcitrance of Halogenated Compounds in Anoxic Environments
    R825511C009 Fate and Transport of Nonionic Surfactants
    R825511C010 In Situ Degradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons and PAHs in Contaminated Salt Marsh Sediments
    R825511C011 Design and Operation of Surfactant-Enhanced Bioslurry Reactors
    R825511C012 Experimental Study of Overland Transport of Cryptosporidium parvum Oocysts
    R825511C013 Development of a Framework for Evaluation of Leaching from Solid Waste
    R825511C014 Use of a New Leaching Test Framework for Evaluating Alternative Treatment Processes for Mercury Contaminated Mixed Waste (Hazardous and Radioactive)
    R825511C015 Field Pilot Test of In Situ Ultrasonic Enhancement Coupled With Soil Fracturing to Detoxify Contaminated Soil
    R825511C016 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    R825511C017 Field Demonstration of the Use of Reactive Zero-Valence Iron Powder to Treat Source Zone Sites Impacted by Halogenated Volatile Organic Chemicals
    R825511C018 Technology Transfer of Continuous Non-Methane Organic Carbon (C-NMOC) Analyzer
    R825511C019 Field Sampling and Treatability Study for In-Situ Remediation of PCB's and Leachable Lead with Iron Powder
    R825511C020 Experimental and Modeling Studies of Chlorocarbon Incineration, PIC Formation, and Emissions Control
    R825511C021 Experimental Studies and Numerical Modeling of Turbulent Combustion During Thermal Treatment of Hazardous Wastes: Applied Research for the Generation of Design and Diagnostic Tools
    R825511C022 Electrochemical Sensor for Heavy Metals in Groundwater - Phase IV
    R825511C023 Novel Molecular Tools for Monitoring In-Situ Bioremediation
    R825511C024 Surfactant-Enhanced Bioremediation of Soils in the Presence of an Organic Phase
    R825511C025 Enhanced Microbial Dechlorination of PCBs and Dioxins in Contaminated Dredge Spoils
    R825511C026 Toward A Risk-Based Model for Bioremediation of Multicomponent NAPL Contaminants
    R825511C027 Removal and Recovery of VOCs and Oils from Surfactant-Flushed Recovered Water by Membrane Permeation
    R825511C029 Field Pilot Test of In-Situ Ultrasonic Enhancement Coupled With Soil Fracturing to Detoxify Contaminated Soil in Cooperation with McLaren/Hart Environmental Engineers at the Hillsborough, NJ Site
    R825511C030 In-Situ Field Test of Electroremediation of a Chromate-Contaminated Site in Hudson County, New Jersey
    R825511C031 Electrokinetic Removal of Heavy Metals and Mixed Hazardous Wastes from Partially and Fully Saturated Soils
    R825511C032 Effects of Clay Charge and Confining Stresses on Soil Remediation by Electroosmosis
    R825511C033 Assessment of Surfactant Enhanced Bioremediation for Soils/Aquifers Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
    R825511C034 In-Situ Bioremediation of Organic Compounds: Coupling of Mass Transfer and Biodegradation
    R825511C035 Investigation into the Effectiveness of DNAPL Remediation Strategies in Fractured Media
    R825511C036 Field Pilot Scale Demonstration of Trench Bio-Sparge: An In-Situ Groundwater Treatment Technology
    R825511C037 In-Situ Reductive Dehalogenation of Aliphatic Compounds by Fermentative Heterotrophic Bacteria
    R825511C038 The Effect of Carbon-Nitrogen Ratios on Bacterial Transport and Biodegradation Rates In Soils
    R825511C039 Ultrasonic Enhancement of Soil Fracturing Technologies for In-Situ Detoxification of Contaminated Soil
    R825511C040 Full Field Demonstration of Integrated Pneumatic Fracturing and In-Situ Bioremediation
    R825511C041 Determination of Adsorption and Desorption Behavior of Petroleum Products on Soils
    R825511C042 Evaluation of the Potential for Complete Bioremediation of NAPL-Contaminated Soils Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
    R825511C043 Characterization of Subsurface NAPL Distributions at Heterogeneous Field Sites
    R825511C044 Development of a Thermal Desorption Gas Chromatograph/Microwave Induced Plasma/Mass Spectrometer (TDGC/MIP/MS) for On-site Analysis of Organic and Metal Contaminants
    R825511C045 Using Trainable Networks for a Three-dimensional Characterization of Subsurface Contamination
    R825511C046 Application of Advanced Waste Characterization to Soil Washing and Treatment
    R825511C047 Electrochemical Sensor for Heavy Metals in Groundwater Phase III
    R825511C048 Improved Luminescence Sensors for Oxygen Measurement
    R825511C049 Preconcentration, Speciation and Determination of Dissolved Heavy Metals in Natural Waters, using Ion Exchange and Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry
    R825511C050 Experimental and Modeling Studies of Chlorocarbon Incineration and PIC Formation
    R825511C051 PIC Emission Minimization: Fundamentals and Applications
    R825511C052 Project Title: Development of a Two Stage, Pulse Combustion, VOC Destruction Technology
    R825511C053 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    R825511C054 FTIR Analysis of Gaseous Products from Hazardous Waste Combustion
    R825511C055 Toxic Metals Volatilization for Waste Separation and Real-time Metals Analyses
    R825511C056 Mixed Metal Removal and Recovery by Hollow Fiber Membrane-Based Extractive Adsorber
    R825511C057 Removal of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from Contaminated Groundwater and Soils by Pervaporation
    R825511C058 Simultaneous SO2/NO Removal/Recovery by Hollow Fiber Membrane
    R825511C059 Superfund Sites and Mineral Industries Method
    R825511C060 Soil Washing of Mixed Organics/Metal Contamination
    R825511C061 Removal of Cesium, Strontium, Americium, Technetium and Plutonium from Radioactive Wastewater
    R825511C062 Development of a Method for Removal of Nonvolatile Organic Materials from Soil using Flotation
    R825511C063 Recovery of Evaporative Fuel Losses by Vapor Permeation Membranes
    R825511C064 Surfactant Selection Protocol for Ex Situ Soil Washing
    R825511C065 Biofiltration for the Control of Toxic Industrial VOCs Emissions
    R825511C066 Catalytic Oxidation of Volatile Organic Compounds in Water
    R825511C067 Soil Washing for Remediating Metal Contaminated Soils
    R825511C068 Aqueous Absorption and Kinetics of NO by Strong Oxidizing Agents
    R825511C069 Remediation of Dredging Spoils
    R825511C070 Freeze Concentration for Zero-Effluent Processes
    R825511C071 Life Cycle/Pollution Prevention Response to Executive Order 12856
    R825511C072 Faster Better, Cheaper Hazardous Waste Site Characterization and Cleanup: an Adaptive Sampling and Analysis Strategy Employing Dynamic Workplans
    R825511C073 Development of a Comprehensive Computer Model for the Pneumatic Fracturing Process
    R825511C074 Technology Demonstration and Validation of CFAST Field Analytical Instrumentation for Use in Hazardous Waste Site Characterization, Clean-up and Monitoring
    R825511C075 XFLOW: Training Software Simulating Contaminant Site Characterization and Remediation