Numerical Modeling of Thermal Enhancement of In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) and Enhanced In Situ Bioremediation (EISB)

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Bryck, Sean
DNAPL , Subsurface Contamination , Groundwater , Numerical Modeling
A numerical model was utilized to assess the effects of elevated temperature on the application of in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) and enhanced in situ bioremediation (EISB) for the subsurface remediation of trichloroethene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE). Temperature adjustment of the contaminant physicochemical properties as well as the chemical/biological reactions associated with ISCO and EISB were accounted for in the model domain. ISCO reaction rates were estimated using Arrhenius principles; microbial growth rates for EISB were estimated using non-linear fits to published literature data. The results from this study showed that temperature did provide remedial benefits to ISCO and EISB treatment during the short-term timeframe of oxidant/substrate injection. During these time periods, heated ISCO and EISB treatment exhibited greater DNAPL mass removal and mass flux reduction compared to heated abiotic dissolution. In the long term, after oxidant/substrate injection was terminated, the treatment enhancements achieved by ISCO and EISB were negated. Permeability (k) reduction due to rind formation (ISCO) and bioclogging (EISB) inhibited DNAPL dissolution and contributed to greater dissolution tailing effects. Tailing effects caused by ISCO were more severe compared to EISB since rind formation contributed to permanent k reduction; partial k recovery was observed in the EISB scenarios due to biomass decay. Even though higher temperatures were beneficial to ISCO and EISB during the short-term oxidant/substrate injection period, treatment efficacy was ultimately controlled by the detrimental by-products (rind from ISCO and biomass from EISB) formed as a result of the associative chemical/biological reactions.
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