EAS, A Paradigm Shift in the Remediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
The conventional wisdom for remediation of aquifers contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) is to add oxygen. A recent EPA / British Petroleum study, however, concluded that most hydrocarbon plumes are anaerobic and depleted of sulfate and, therefore, adding oxygen is disadvantageous. Other studies have drawn comparable conclusions. EAS is an anaerobic degradation process (U.S. Patent No. 7,138,060) that facilitates natural attenuation of PHCs in the subsurface. Anaerobic degradation, mediated by terminal electron acceptors including nitrate, sulfate, and iron, is now firmly established and is considered to be the dominant driving force in the natural attenuation of PHCs in the subsurface.
EAS (Electron Acceptor Solution) stimulates biodegradation by providing a soluble, readily available electron acceptor. In the presence of elevated sulfate, anaerobic groundwater bacteria use the PHCs for carbon and energy while mineralizing the hydrocarbons to carbon dioxide and water. EAS enhances natural conditions and reduces the carbon footprint when compared to conventional remediation.