Final Report: Phytoremediation and Bioremediation of Land Contaminated By PAHs, PCBs, and TNT

EPA Grant Number: R826694C696
Subproject: this is subproject number 696 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R828598
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Gulf Coast HSRC (Lamar)
Center Director: Ho, Tho C.
Title: Phytoremediation and Bioremediation of Land Contaminated By PAHs, PCBs, and TNT
Investigators: Drew, Malcolm , Corapcioglu, Yavuz , Munster, Clyde , Rhykerd, Robert
Institution: Texas A & M University
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: September 1, 2000 through August 31, 2004
RFA: Gulf Coast Hazardous Substance Research Center (Lamar University) (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Targeted Research

Objective:

Military and industrial activities have resulted in soils contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and trinitrotoluene (TNT). These contaminated soils pose a risk to surface and ground water and require remediation. Excavation followed by landfilling or incineration are costly methods and may be impractical when large volumes of soil are contaminated. Phytoremediation, the use of plants to remove contaminants and/or to stimulate microbial degradation of contaminants in the rhizosphere, is a cost-effective alternative for remediation of recalcitrant hydrocarbon contaminated soils. The main purpose of this research was, 1. to determine the effectiveness of phytoremediation compared to a fallow bioremediation treatment, 2. to calibrate and validate a recently developed phytoremediation model that is designed to predict the effectiveness of warm and cool season grasses upon remediation of soil contaminated with PAHs, PCBs, and TNT. To achieve these purposes, laboratory, greenhouse and field experiments were conducted. Column lysimeters were constructed and the lysimeters were filled with uncontaminated Weswood silt loam soil that was mixed with TNT, PBB and PAH to a target concentration of 10 mg of each contaminant per kg of soil. Five lysimeter treatments, 1. Eastern Gamagrass, 2. Annual rye grass, 3. Gamagrass and Annual rye rotation, 4. bare soil, and 5. Gamagrass (with uncontaminated soil) were randomly allotted. Each treatment had four replicates. The weather, soil moisture content, and irrigation amounts were monitored for the entire project period. Soil, root, and herbage samples were sampled at five times during three growing seasons. The concentrations of TNT, PBBs, and PAH in the soil, roots, and herbage as well as microbial biomass and root properties were measured to determine the phytoremediation effects of Eastern Gamagrass and Annual rye grass. The amount of the three contaminants that were dissipated due to the effect of the plant roots was also determined. A mechanistic model was modified to consider resultant plant contamination and effects of various environmental factors. The model was then validated and calibrated using field data.There were two primary objectives of the proposed research: 1. To evaluate the effectiveness of a warm season grass (Eastern Gamagrass) followed by a cool season prairie grass (Annual ryegrass) in the phytoremediation of soil contaminated with common recalcitrant organic pollutants; namely a mixture of a PBB, a PAH, and TNT. This involved field lysimeter studies and greenhouse column experiments.2. To use the field and greenhouse data to calibrate and validate a recently developed bioremediation model that is capable of simulating the removal and degradation of organic chemicals from the soil by plant roots and their rhizosphere. The specific objectives of the research were:1. To determine the amounts of chrysene, 2,2Æ,5,5Æ-tetrabromobipheny, and TNT that were extracted by a warm season grass (Eastern Gamagrass) and a cool season grass (Annual rye grass) grown individually and in rotation during three growing seasons.2. To quantify the concentration of 2,2Æ,5,5Æ-tetrabromobipheny, chrysene, and TNT in the leachate from soil lysimeters.3. To quantify the dissipation of 2,2Æ,5,5Æ-tetrabromobipheny, chrysene, and TNT in soil columns.4. To validate and calibrate an existing phytoremediation computer model that simulates organic contaminant transport and root uptake from soils.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

Chemical losses during the lysimeter experiment were similar at all depths, and between vegetated and unvegetated soils. The largest and most rapid loss in soil-chemical concentration was TNT, which decreased to less than 10 µg kg-1 after 181 days. Chemical concentrations in the herbage were insignificant except for PAH. PAH concentrations declined slowly during the experiment period. A slight increase in the soil concentration for the PAH was detected in subsequent samples collected 181 and 364 days after germination. This may be due to the sorption/desorption behavior of chrysene in field soils. This low efficiency of phytoremediation and bioremediation of PAH resulted in high concentration in roots. Concentrations of TNT and PBB in the herbage (above ground vegetation were always below the detection limits of 250 ppb and 500 ppb, respectively. However, the PAH was detected in the herbage after 364 days with the maximum PAH concentrations of 473 ppb for Eastern Gamagrass and 542 ppb for the rotation treatment. Concentrations of PBB and PAH in the root samples ranged from 0.0 to 2.91 and from 0.8 to 3.63 ppm, respectively. Enumeration of soil microorganisms revealed a robust population in both the bulk soil and the root rhizosphere soil. However, there were no significant differences between bulk and rhizosphere soil populations. Simulation results using the phytoremediation computer model were evaluated with the field measured values. Thus far, simulations of TNT demonstrate that the present model can predict contaminant concentration losses with time and depth under actual field conditions. In conducting the modeling study, the growth and distribution for Eastern Gamagrass and the microbial biomass in the field columns were simulated. The results of this research indicate that plants may not immediately enhance soil remediation of hydrocarbons in freshly contaminated soils. These results suggest that freshly contaminated soils at low initial concentration may have sufficient natural bioremediation mechanisms already in the soil and plants do not necessarily enhance remediation. However, plants may be beneficial aesthetically and also assist by stabilizing the soil and preventing transport through water and wind erosion. The addition of exogenous substrates in phytoremediation can increase remediation efficiency especially in the early period when the roots may not produce exudates rapidly. Furthermore cultivation before planting may stimulate indigenous conversion to yield substrates for increased microbial activity to help degrade contaminants in soils. The validated and calibrated computer model can provide insight into the selection and optimization of TNT phytoremediation at contaminated sites. The field lysimeter experiments resulted in the measurement of the phytoremediation parameters necessary for the validation and calibration of the phytoremediation simulation model. The proposed model can be applied to various bioremediation methods such as phytoremediation and natural attenuation in the vadose zone to simulate water flow and the fate and transport of recalcitrant contaminants.


Journal Articles on this Report : 3 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 13 publications 3 publications in selected types All 3 journal articles
Other center views: All 359 publications 104 publications in selected types All 90 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Sung K, Corapcioglu MY, Drew MC, Munster CL. Plant contamination by organic pollutants in phytoremediation. Journal of Environmental Quality 2001;30(6):2081-2090. R826694C696 (2000)
R826694C696 (Final)
R825414 (Final)
R828598C696 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: JEQ-Full Text HTML
    Exit
  • Abstract: JEQ-Abstract
    Exit
  • Other: JEQ-Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Journal Article Sung K, Yavuz CM, Drew MC. Heat and mass transfer in the vadose zone with plant roots. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 2002;57(1-2):99-127. R826694C696 (2000)
    R826694C696 (Final)
    R825414 (Final)
    R828598C696 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Science Direct-Full Text HTML
    Exit
  • Abstract: Science Direct-Abstract
    Exit
  • Other: Science Direct-Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Journal Article Sung K, Corapcioglu MY, Drew MC. Plant aided bioremediation in the vadose zone: model development and applications. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 2004;73(1-4):65-98. R826694C696 (2000)
    R826694C696 (Final)
    R825414 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Science Direct
    Exit
  • Abstract: Science Direct
    Exit
  • Other: Science Direct
    Exit
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    Phytoremediation, PAHs, PBBs, TNT, lysimeter experiment, computer model simulation., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Waste, TREATMENT/CONTROL, National Recommended Water Quality, Environmental Chemistry, Treatment Technologies, Remediation, Environmental Microbiology, Hazardous Waste, Bioremediation, Environmental Engineering, Hazardous, plant-based remediation, degradation, contaminated sediments, microbial degradation, biodegradation, PCBs, PAH, contaminated soil, Polychlorinated Biphenyls PCBs:, contaminants in soil, PCB, TNT, phytoremediation, plant-microbe system, bacterial degradation

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R828598    Gulf Coast HSRC (Lamar)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R822721C529 Environmentally Acceptable Endpoints: Risk Based Remediation Using Bioremediation
    R822721C552 Degradative Solidification/Stabilization Technology for Chlorinated Hydrocarbons
    R822721C569 Treatment and Product Recovery: Supercritical Water Oxidation of Nylon Monomer Manufacturing Waste
    R822721C620 Colloidal Fouling of Membranes: Implications in the Treatment of Textile Dye Wastes and Water Reuse
    R822721C626 Catalytic Hydroprocessing of Chlorinated Organics
    R822721C627 The Interaction of Microbial Activity and Zero Valent Iron Permeable Barrier Technology
    R822721C630 Microbial Cometabolism of Recalcitrant Chemicals in Contaminated Air Streams
    R822721C633 Catalyst Lifetime Studies for Chlorocarbon Steam Reforming
    R822721C635 Electrokinetic/Surfactant-Enhanced Remediation of Hydrophobic Pollutants in Low Permeability Subsurface Environments
    R822721C636 Transformation Reactions of Nitroaromatic and Nitrogen Heterocyclic Compounds on Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Surfaces: Enhancement of GAC Adsorption in Natural and Engineered Environmental Systems
    R822721C640 Environmentally Friendly Organic Synthesis in Supercritical Fluids
    R822721C645 Development and Evaluation of an Integrated Model to Facilitate Risk-Based Corrective Action at Superfund Sites
    R822721C651 Adjustable Biopolymer Chelators for Cadmium, Lead and Mercury
    R822721C653 New Electrochemically Smart Catalysts for Hazardous Waste Management and Development of Capillary Electrophoresis for Analysis of their Products
    R822721C655 Soil Sampling in South Alabama Oil Fields
    R822721C659 Subsurface Contamination Site Characterization via a Computer-Aided Visual Tool
    R822721C661 New Insoluble supports for Protein Immobilization for Use in Metalloprotein Affinity Metal Chromatography
    R822721C663 Soil Remediation with Ultra-High-Efficiency Hydrocyclones
    R822721C669 Solid Acid Catalyzed Alkylation in Supercritical Fluids
    R822721C679 Regeneration/Reactivation of Carbon Adsorbents by Radio Frequency (RF) Induction Heating
    R822721C687 Improved Halogen Resistance of Catalytic Oxidation
    R822721C696 Phytoremediation and Bioremediation of Land Contaminated By PAHs, PCBs, and TNT
    R822721C697 Fundamental and Kinetic Investigation of Sorbent Technology for Optimum Mercury Emission Control
    R822721C700 Effects of Natural and Cyclic Variations on Contaminant Fate and Transport
    R822721C703 Enhancement of DNAPL Dissolution Rates by Dechlorinating Anaerobes
    R826694C620 Colloidal Fouling of Membranes: Implications in the Treatment of Textile Dye Wastes and Water Reuse
    R826694C625 Enhanced Treatment of DNAPLs Contaminated Soils and Groundwater Using Biosurfactants: In-Situ Bioremediation
    R826694C626 Catalytic Hydroprocessing of Chlorinated Wastes
    R826694C627 The Interaction of Microbial Activity and Zero Valent Iron Permeable Barrier Technology
    R826694C629 Biofiltration of BTEX in Petroleum-Contaminated Soil Remediation Off-Gas
    R826694C630 Microbial Cometabolism of Recalcitrant Chemicals in Contaminated Air Streams
    R826694C633 Catalyst Lifetime Studies for Chlorocarbon Steam Reforming
    R826694C635 Electrokinetic/Surfactant-Enhanced Remediation of Hydrophobic Pollutants in Low Permeability Subsurface Environments
    R826694C636 Transformation Reactions of Nitroaromatic and Nitrogen Heterocyclic Compounds on Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Surfaces: Enhancement of GAC Adsorption in Natural and Engineered Environmental Systems
    R826694C640 Environmentally Friendly Organic Synthesis in Supercritical Fluids
    R826694C645 Development and Evaluation of an Integrated Model to Facilitate Risk-Based Corrective Action at Superfund Sites
    R826694C651 Adjustable Biopolymer Chelators for Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury Remeidation
    R826694C659 Subsurface Contamination Site characterization Via a Computer-Aided Visual Tool
    R826694C661 New Insoluble supports for Protein Immobilization for Use in Metalloprotein Affinity Metal Chromatography
    R826694C669 Solid Acid Catalyzed Alkylation in Supercritical Reaction Media
    R826694C679 Regeneration and Reactivation of Carbon Adsorbents by Radio Frequency Induction Heating
    R826694C696 Phytoremediation and Bioremediation of Land Contaminated By PAHs, PCBs, and TNT
    R826694C697 Fundamental and Kinetic Investigation of Sorbent Technology for Optimum Mercury Emission Control
    R826694C700 Effects of Natural Cyclic Variations on Contaminated Fate and Transport
    R826694C703 Enhancement of DNAPL Dissolution Rates by Dechlorinating Anaerobes
    R826694C705 A Pilot Plant for Producing Mixed Ketones from Waste Biomass
    R826694C722 The Effects of an Oily-Phase on VOC Emissions from Industrial Wastewater
    R826694C724 Mercury Removal from Stack Gas by Aqueous Scrubbing
    R826694C725 Transport, Fate and Risk Implications of Environmentally Acceptable Endpoint Decisions
    R826694C731 Development and Application of a Real-Time Optical Sensor for Atmospheric Formaldehyde
    R826694C734 An Advanced System for Pollution Prevention in Chemical Complexes
    R828598C001 Field Study Abstract: A Model of Ambient Air Pollution in Southeast Texas Using Artificial Neural Network Technology
    R828598C002 Hollow Fiber Membrane Bioreactors for Treating Water and Air Streams Contaminated with Chlorinated Solvents
    R828598C003 Fugitive Emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants from On-Site Industrial Sewers
    R828598C004 Biofiltration Technology Development
    R828598C005 A Risk-Based Decision Analysis Approach for Aquifers Contaminated with DNAPLs
    R828598C006 In-Situ Remediation for Contaminated Soils Using Prefabricated Vertical Drains
    R828598C007 Membrane Technology Selection System for the Metal Finishing Industry
    R828598C008 Sequential Environments for Enhanced Bioremediation of Chlorinated Aliphatic Hydrocarbons
    R828598C009 Waste Minimization in the Magnetic Tape Industry: Waterborne Coating Formulations for Magnetic Tape Manufacture
    R828598C010 Soil Remediation by Agglomeration with Petroleum Coke
    R828598C011 Recovery of Dilute Phosphoric Acid in Waste Streams Using Waste Gas Ammonia: The Regenerative MAP/DAP Process
    R828598C012 Stochastic Risk Assessment for Bioremediation
    R828598C013 Selective Removal of Heavy Metals from Wastewater by Chelation in Supercritical Fluids
    R828598C014 Optimization of Treatment Technologies for Detoxification of PCB Contaminated Soils
    R828598C015 Wastewater Remediation by Catalytic Wet Oxidation
    R828598C016 Permanence of Metals Containment in Solidified and Stabilized Wastes
    R828598C017 Combustion Enhancement by Radial Jet Reattachment - Low Generation of Hazardous Gases and High Thermal Efficiency
    R828598C018 A Process To Convert Industrial Biosludge and Paper Fines to Mixed Alcohol Fuels
    R828598C019 Homogeneous Catalysis in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide
    R828598C020 Ultrasonic Enhancement of the Removal of Heavy Metals
    R828598C021 The Binding Chemistry and Leaching Mechanisms of Advanced Solidification/Stabilization Systems for Hazardous Waste Management
    R828598C022 Development of an Air-Stripping and UV/H2O2 Oxidation Integrated Process To Treat a Chloro-Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Ground Water
    R828598C023 A Comparative Study of Siting Opposition in Two Counties
    R828598C024 Sonochemical Treatment of Hazardous Organic Compounds II: Process Optimization and Pathway Studies
    R828598C025 Laser Diagnostics of the Combustion Process within a Rotary Kiln Incinerator
    R828598C026 Use of Inorganic Ion Exchangers for Hazardous Waste Remediation
    R828598C027 Kaolinite Sorbent for the Removal of Heavy Metals from Incinerated Lubricating Oils
    R828598C028 Destruction of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons in Process Streams Using Catalytic Steam Reforming
    R828598C029 Integrated Process Treatment Train (Bioremediation {Aerobic/Anaerobic} and Immobilization) for Texas Soils Contaminated with Combined Hazardous Wastes
    R828598C030 Photo-Oxidation by H2O2/VisUV of Off-Gas Atmospheric Emissions from Industrial and Environmental Remediation Sources
    R828598C031 Concentrated Halide Extraction and Recovery of Lead from Soil
    R828598C032 Biodegradable Surfactant for Underground Chlorinated Solvent Remediation
    R828598C033 A Software Guidance System for Choosing Analytical Subsurface Fate and Transport Models Including a Library of Computer Solutions for the Analytical Models
    R828598C034 Hydrodynamic Modeling of Leachate Recirculating Landfill
    R828598C035 Measurement of Oxygen Transfer Rate in Soil Matrices
    R828598C036 Sorbent Technology for Multipollutant Control During Fluidized Bed Incineration
    R828598C037 Pollution Prevention by Process Modification Using On-Line Optimization
    R828598C038 Pollution Prevention by Process Modification
    R828598C039 Water Solubility and Henry's Law Constant
    R828598C040 Transferring Technical Information on Hazardous Substance Research by Publishing on the World Wide Web
    R828598C041 Stress Protein Responses to Multiple Metal Exposure in Grass Shrimp
    R828598C042 Life-Cycle Environmental Costing for Managing Pollution Prevention in the Chemical and Petroleum Refining Industries: A Cross-Border Approach
    R828598C687 Improved Halogen Resistance of Catalytic Oxidation Through Efficient Catalyst Testing
    R828598C696 Phytoremediation and Bioremediation of Land Contaminated By PAHs, PCBs, and TNT
    R828598C697 Fundamental and Kinetic Investigation of Sorbent Technology for Optimum Mercury Emission Control
    R828598C700 Effects of Natural Cyclic Variations on Contaminated Fate and Transport
    R828598C703 Enhancement of DNAPL Dissolution Rates by Dechlorinating Anaerobes
    R828598C705 A Pilot Plant for Producing Mixed Ketones from Waste Biomass
    R828598C722 The Effects of an Oily-Phase on VOC Emissions from Industrial Wastewater
    R828598C724 Mercury Removal from Stack Gas by Aqueous Scrubbing
    R828598C725 Transport, Fate and Risk Implications of Environmentally Acceptable Endpoint Decisions
    R828598C731 Development and Application of a Real Time Optical Sensor for Atmospheric Formaldehyde
    R828598C734 An Advanced System for Pollution Prevention in Chemical Complexes
    R828598C743 Field Demonstration of Ultrasound Enhancement of Permeable Treatment Walls
    R828598C744 Optical Fibers Coated With Titania Membrane/UV-Generating Crystal in a Distributed-Light Photoreactor for VOC Oxidation
    R828598C749 Characterization and Modeling of Indoor Particulate Contaminants In a Heavily Industrialized Community
    R828598C753 Adsolubilization and Photocatalysis in a Semiconducting Monolithic Reactor for Wastewater Treatment
    R828598C754 Remote Detection of Gas Emissions in Industrial Processes
    R828598C759 Searching for Optimum Composition of Phosphogypsum: Fly ash: Cement Composites for Oyster Culch Materials
    R828598C761 Development of a Phytologically-Based Biosorptive Water Treatment Process
    R828598C766 Chlorinated Solvent Impact and Remediation Strategies for the Dry Cleaning Industry
    R828598C769 Soil/Sediment Remediation by Hot Water Extraction Combined with In-Situ Wet Oxidation
    R828598C771 Fluoracrylate Polymer Supported Ligands as Catalysts for Environmentally Benign Synthesis in Supercritical Fluids
    R828598C774 The Feasibility of Electrophoretic Repair of Impoundment Leaks
    R828598C777 Surfactant Enhanced Photo-oxidation of Wastewaters
    R828598C778 Stationary Power Generation Via Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: A Response to Pollution and Global Warming
    R828598C786 Photocatalytic Recovery of Sulfur and Hydrogen From Hydrogen Sulfide
    R828598C787 Biosurfactant Produced from Used Vegetable Oil for removal of Metals From Wastewaters and Soils
    R828598C789 Genetic Engineering of Enzymatic Cyanide Clearance
    R828598C791 Characterizing the Intrinsic Remediation of MTBE at Field Sites
    R828598C799 Simultaneous Water Conservation/Recycling/Reuse and Waste Reduction in Semiconductor Manufacturing
    R828598C801 Building Defined Mixed Cultures To Biodegrade Diverse Mixtures Of Chlorinated Solvents
    R828598C802 Engineering of Nanocrystal Based Catalytic Materials for Hydroprocessing of Halogenated Organics
    R828598C807 Commercial Demonstration of Hydrogen Peroxide Injection to Control NOx Emissions from Combustion Sources
    R828598C809 Evaluating Source Grouting and ORC for Remediating MTBE Sites
    R828598C810 Application of Total Cost Assessment To Process Design In the Chemical Industry
    R828598C846 Quantitative Demonstration of Source-Zone Bioremediation in A Field-Scale Experimental Controlled Release System