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Green Remediation: Enhanced Reductive Dechlorination Using Recycled Rinsewater as Bioremediation Substrate

[+] Author Affiliations
Gaynor Dawson

CALIBRE Systems Inc., W. Richland, WA

Tom McKeon

CALIBRE Systems Inc., Bellevue, WA

Paper No. ICEM2007-7090, pp. 985-991; 7 pages
  • The 11th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • 11th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Parts A and B
  • Bruges, Belgium, September 2–6, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4339-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3818-8
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


Enhanced reductive dechlorination (ERD) has rapidly become a remedy of choice for use on chlorinated solvent contamination when site conditions allow. With this approach, solutions of an organic substrate are injected into the affected aquifer to stimulate biological growth and the resultant production of reducing conditions in the target zone. Under the reducing conditions, hydrogen is produced and ultimately replaces chlorine atoms on the contaminant molecule causing sequential dechlorination. Under suitable conditions the process continues until the parent hydrocarbon precursor is produced, such as the complete dechlorination of trichloroethylene (TCE) to ethene. The process is optimized by use of a substrate that maximizes hydrogen production per unit cost. When natural biota are not present to promote the desired degradation, inoculates can be added with the substrate. The in-situ method both reduces cost and accelerates cleanup. Successful applications have been extended from the most common chlorinated compounds perchloroethylene (PCE) and TCE and related products of degradation, to perchlorate, and even explosives such as RDX and trinitrotoluene on which nitrates are attacked in lieu of chloride. In recent work, the process has been further improved through use of beverage industry wastewaters that are available at little or no cost. With material cost removed from the equation, applications can maximize the substrate loading without significantly increasing total cost. The extra substrate loading both accelerates reaction rates and extends the period of time over which reducing conditions are maintained. In some cases, the presence of other organic matter in addition to simple sugars provides for longer performance times of individual injections, thereby working in a fashion similar to emulsified vegetable oil. The paper discusses results of applications at three different sites contaminated with chlorinated ethylenes. The applications have included wastewaters of both natural fruit juices and corn syrup solutions from carbonated beverages. Cost implications include both the reduced cost of substrate and the cost avoidance of needing to pay for treatment of the wastewater.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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