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IN SITU BIOREMEDIATION OF BIPHENYL AND BIPHENYL ETHER

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This paper summarizes the results of a pilot-scale test used to evaluate the bioremediation potential of Dowtherm® constituents in groundwater at a former textile manufacturing facility in Greenville, South Carolina. Dowtherm® historically used at the site as a heat-transfer fluid mainly contains 1,1′-biphenyl (biphenyl) and biphenyl ether (BE). Aerobic bioremediation was chosen as the technology employed for this pilot test because these compounds cannot be stripped from groundwater due to very low Henry's Law Constant and the subsurface conditions at the site limit the in-situ stripping technology.

The pilot test was designed to deliver a sufficient quantity of oxygen to support enhanced aerobic bioremediation activities. Oxygen Release Compound® (ORC), an innovative groundwater oxygenation technology, was used to promote the desired aerobic subsurface environment. ORC was selected due to its property of controlled release of oxygen.

Groundwater samples were collected from selected monitoring wells to establish baseline conditions before initiating the pilot test. Periodic groundwater samples were obtained to monitor oxygen, oxygen demand, and target compound concentrations to determine if the pilot test was successful.

The laboratory evaluation and results indicated that an indigenous microbial population was present that could biodegrade the compounds of concern. Results of the enhanced aerobic bioremediation pilot test indicate that the biphenyl concentrations were reduced a maximum of 83% during the 7 month treatment period, and biphenyl ether concentrations were reduced a maximum of 81%. These results were measured in a shallow monitoring well, the deeper monitoring well did not display similar effect. This was due to reduced delivery of oxygen to the deeper aquifer.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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