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REMOVAL OF ADDED NITRATE IN THE SINGLE, BINARY, AND TERNARY SYSTEMS OF COTTON BURR COMPOST, ZEROVALENT IRON, AND SEDIMENT: IMPLICATIONS FOR GROUNDWATER NITRATE REMEDIATION USING PERMEABLE REACTIVE BARRIERS
SU, C. AND R. W. PULS. REMOVAL OF ADDED NITRATE IN THE SINGLE, BINARY, AND TERNARY SYSTEMS OF COTTON BURR COMPOST, ZEROVALENT IRON, AND SEDIMENT: IMPLICATIONS FOR GROUNDWATER NITRATE REMEDIATION USING PERMEABLE REACTIVE BARRIERS. CHEMOSPHERE. Elsevier BV, AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, 67(8):1653-1662, (2007).
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Recent research has shown that carbonaceous solid materials and zerovalent iron (Fe0) may potentially be used as media in permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) to degrade groundwater nitrate via heterotrophic denitrification in the solid carbon system, and via abiotic reduction and autotrophic denitrification in the Fe0 system. Questions arise as whether the more expensive Fe0 is more effective than the less expensive carbonaceous solid materials for groundwater nitrate remediation and whether there is any synergistic effect of mixing the two different types of materials. We carried out batch tests to study the nature and rates of removal of added nitrate in the suspensions of single, binary, and ternary systems of cotton burr compost, Peerless Fe0, and a sediment low in organic carbon. Cotton burr compost acted as both organic carbon source and supporting material for the growth of indigenous denitrifiers. Batch tests showed that cotton burr compost alone removed added nitrate at a greater rate than did Peerless Fe0 alone on an equal mass basis with a pseudo-first order rate constant k = 0.083 ± 0.003 h-1 for cotton burr compost and a k = 0.00223 ± 0.00022 h-1 for Peerless Fe0; cotton burr compost also removed added nitrate at a faster rate than did cotton burr compost mixed with Peerless Fe0 and/or the sediment. Furthermore, there was no substantial accumulation of ammonium ions in the cotton burr compost system, in contrast to the systems containing Peerless Fe0 in which ammonium ions persisted as major products of nitrate reduction. It is concluded that cotton burr compost alone may be used as an excellent denitrification medium in a PRB for groundwater nitrate removal. Further study is needed to evaluate performance of its field applications.