Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.313, 60-67, 2016
Simultaneous biodegradation of carbon tetrachloride and trichloroethylene in a coupled anaerobic/aerobic biobarrier
Simultaneous biodegradation of carbon tetrachloride (CT) and trichloroethylene (TCE) in a biobarrier with polyethylene glycol (PEG) carriers was studied. Toluene/methanol and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) were used as electron donors and an electron acceptor source, respectively, in order to develop a biologically active zone. The average removal efficiencies for TCE and toluene were over 99.3%, leaving the respective residual concentrations of similar to 12 and similar to 57 mu g/L, which are below or close to the groundwater quality standards. The removal efficiency for CT was similar to 98.1%, with its residual concentration (65.8 mu g/L) slightly over the standards. TCE was aerobically cometabolized with toluene as substrate while CT was anaerobically dechlorinated in the presence of electron donors, with the respective stoichiometric amount of chloride released. The oxygen supply at equivalent to 50% chemical oxygen demand of the injected electron donors supported successful toluene oxidation and also allowed local anaerobic environments for CT reduction. The originally augmented (immobilized in PEG carriers) aerobic microbes were gradually outcompeted in obtaining substrate and oxygen. Instead, newly developed biofilms originated from indigenous microbes in soil adapted to the coupled anaerobic/aerobic environment in the carrier for the simultaneous and almost complete removal of CT, TCE, and toluene. The declined removal rates when temperature fell from 28 to 18 degrees C were recovered by doubling the retention time (7.2 days). (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.