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Open Access Groundwater Remediation Using an Enricher Reactor—Permeable Reactive Biobarrier for Periodically Absent Contaminants

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A combined enricher reactor (ER)‐permeable reactive biobarrier (PRBB) system was developed to treat groundwater with contaminants that appear in batches. An enricher reactor is an offline reactor used to enrich contaminant degraders by supplying necessary growth materials, and the enriched degraders are used to augment PRBB to increase its performance after a period of contaminant absence. Bench-scale experiments on PRBBs with and without bacterial supply from the enricher reactor were conducted to evaluate PRBB removal performances for benzene, which was used as a model contaminant. Benzene absence periods of 10 and 25 days were tested in the presence and absence of ethanol. The PRBBs without the bioaugmentation from the enricher reactor experienced a decrease in performance from approximately 65% to 30% after benzene reappeared. The presence of ethanol accelerated the benzene removal performance recovery of PRBBs. The 25-day benzene absence period caused greater changes in the bacterial community structure, regardless of the ethanol availability.

Keywords: benzene; biodegradation; enricher reactor; permeable reactive biobarrier; single-strand conformation polymorphism

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2011

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    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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