In Situ Remediation of Perchlorate in Soil and Groundwater, M.S. Thesis, California State University San Bernardino

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This research project documents a technology assessment for in-situ bioremediation of perchlorate (ClO4-). The main goals are to compare methodologies, perform site characterization of soil and groundwater, and perform microcosm and bench scale tests. In this approach, perchlorate is reduced to chloride, requiring an electron donor. The suitability of electron donor amendments will be assessed for effectiveness in stimulating biological reduction of perchlorate in three applications: unsaturated (vadose zone) soils; source area groundwater; and plume edge groundwater.

This study involves two types of test systems: a) microcosms and b) columns. The main goals of the microcosm and column studies are to screen substrates based on cost, availability, and effectiveness for treatment of the vadose zone and groundwater; compare substrates using site-specific media and measure perchlorate reduction; collect longevity and general performance data in simulated biobarrier (groundwater) and vadose zone applications; and assess water quality parameters.

Soil and groundwater were collected from the project site source area and biobarrier area for use in microcosm and soil column experiments. Initial results showed that perchlorate-reducing enzymes were present in the native soil. Several electron donors were tested with the soil and groundwater with and without addition of nutrients. Before, during, and after all tests, samples were analyzed for perchlorate, nitrate, and other chemical parameters.

Based upon the microcosm and soil column studies in biobarrier area, source area vadose zone, and source area saturated zone soils and groundwater, reduction of perchlorate was observed most consistently with the emulsified oil substrate (EOS®) amendment.

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