Securing rapid contaminant reduction and accelerated bioremediation using a dispersive injectable reagent
PlumeStop Colloidal Biomatrix (PlumeStop) represents a new (patent pending) technology innovation designed to address the challenges of excessive time and end‐point uncertainty in groundwater bioremediation. The technology secures rapid groundwater contaminant concentration reduction (days), coupled with accelerated bio‐destruction. It is effective on most organic groundwater contaminants including hydrocarbons, halogenated compounds, and a wide variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi‐volatile organic compounds (SVOCs).
The technical innovation allows for wide dispersion of a sorptive medium in the aqueous subsurface. The product has a dual function; it sorbs contaminants, quickly removing them from the mobile phase (‘PlumeStop’), and provides a high surface area matrix favorable for microbial colonization and growth (‘Biomatrix’). Contaminant availability within a risk pathway is therefore reduced while at the same time contaminant destruction is accelerated. The product can be applied in combination with compatible controlled release electron donors/acceptors.
Upon reagent injection, target contaminants partition out of the aqueous phase and into the reagent matrix, thereby removing mobile contaminants from the immediate risk pathway. Concentration of the contaminants in this manner, in a matrix conducive to degrader colonization and activity, results in a direct increase in the overall instantaneous rate of contaminant destruction, given the quasi first‐order biodegradation kinetics characteristic of environmental systems. This phenomenon can be especially important at low contaminant concentrations, which may otherwise prove insufficient to support appreciable growth and activity of a degrading microflora.
The technology can be applied to inhibit spreading of contaminant plumes, to protect sensitive receptors, or to prevent contaminant migration across property boundaries. PlumeStop is also a very effective tool for control and treatment of groundwater contamination associated with low‐ permeability porous formations and matrix back‐diffusion, promoting diffusion out of the immobile porosity while preventing groundwater impact, and for treating sites with very low contaminant concentrations.
Field studies confirm wide‐area dispersion, with order of magnitude (>90%) dissolved‐phase concentration reductions secured at the test sites post‐application sampling, increasing to two orders of magnitude (>99%) within two months for both chlorinated solvent and hydrocarbon species alike. Laboratory data provide confirmation of post‐sorption degradation enhancement, describing a significant increase in the rate of contaminant destruction in biotic matrix systems compared to abiotic matrix and biotic non‐matrix controls.