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Assessment of Intrinsic Bioremediation of a Coal-Tar-Affected Aquifer Using Two-Dimensional Reactive Transport and Biogeochemical Mass Balance Approaches

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Expedited site characterization and groundwater monitoring using direct-push technology and conventional monitoring wells were conducted at a former manufactured gas plant site. Biogeochemical data and heterotrophic plate counts support the presence of microbially mediated remediation. By superimposing solutions of a two-dimensional reactive transport analytical model, first-order degradation rate coefficients (day −1) of various compounds for the dissolved-phase plume were estimated (i.e., benzene [0.0084], naphthalene [0.0058], and acenaphthene [0.0011]). The total mass transformed by aerobic respiration, nitrate reduction, and sulfate reduction around the free-phase coal-tar dense-nonaqueous-phase-liquid region and in the plume was estimated to be approximately 4.5 kg/y using a biogeochemical mass-balance approach. The total mass transformed using the degradation rate coefficients was estimated to be approximately 3.6 kg/y. Results showed that a simple two-dimensional analytical model and a biochemical mass balance with geochemical data from expedited site characterization can be useful for rapid estimation of mass-transformation rates.
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Keywords: coal tar; direct-push technology; first-order degradation rate; mass balance; natural attenuation; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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