Reclamation of Smaller Volumes of Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soil Using an Innovative Reactor System: A Case Study Evaluation of the Design
Zappi, Mark E.
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Petroleum products contamination is a world-wide problem that threatens polluting groundwater and surface water systems. However, the problem is not only large-scale in scope when viewed from a case-by-case basis. Many fueling, construction, agricultural, and industrial activities result in the problem of managing smaller quantities of these soils from an ecological safety perspective. Landfilling has been the disposal method of choice in the US; however, this option is becoming economically prohibitive and it does not really offer a true degradation fate for the pollutants. This study focused on the proving of an innovative biocell design that afforded a high level of petroleum degradation within a simple and cost effective design. Additionally, the design offered a remediation solution for sites not easily accessed. Soil contaminated with both diesel fuel and gasoline collected from a former filling station was used in this on-site remediation case study. Rapid biodegradation of the petroleum products were observed at the initiation of the study with rates leveling off as the study progressed with the final total petroleum hydrocarbon concentration being 10 mg/kg at Day 90. Oxygen uptake rates were monitored and found to nicely track both microbial activity and pollutant removal dynamics. The biocell design met all expectations by being effective, yet simple to build and operate.
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