Field Gas-Sparging Tests for In Situ Aerobic Cometabolism of Trichloroethylene(TCE)

  • Kim Young (Department of Environmental Engineering, Korea University) ;
  • Istok Jonathan D. (Dept. of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University) ;
  • Semprini Lewis (Dept. of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University) ;
  • Oa Sung-Wook (Dept. of Railroad, Civil, and Environmental Engineering, Woosong University)
  • Published : 2006.04.01


Single-well-gas-sparging tests were developed and evaluated for assessing the feasibility of in-situ aerobic cometabolism of trichloroethylene (TCE), using propane as a growth substrate. To evaluate transport characteristics of dissolved solutes [sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) or bromide (non-reactive tracers), propane (a growth substrate), ethylene, propylene (nontoxic surrogates to probe for CAH transformation activity), and DO], push-pull transport tests were performed. Mass balance showed about 90% of the injected bromide and about 80% of the injected SF6 were recovered, and the recoveries of other solutes were comparable with bromide and slightly higher than SF6. A series of Gas-Sparging Biostimulation tests were performed by sparging propane/oxygen/argon/SF6 gas mixtures, and temporal ground water samples were obtained from the injection well under natural gradient 'drift' conditions. The decreased time for propane depletion and the longer time to deplete SF6 as a conservative tracer indicate the progress of biostimulation. Gas-Sparging Activity tests were performed. .Propane utilization, DO consumption, and ethylene and propylene cometabolism were well demonstrated. The stimulated propane-utilizers cometabolized ethylene and propylene to produce ethylene oxide and propylene oxide, as cometabolic by-products, respectively. Gas-Sparging Acetylene Blocking tests were performed by sparging gas mixtures including acetylene to demonstrate the involvement of monooxygenase enzymes. Gas substrate degradation was essentially completely Inhibited in the presence of acetylene, and no production of the corresponding oxides was also observed. The Gas-Sparging tests supports the evidences that the successive stimulation of propane-oxidizing microorganisms, cometabolic transformation of ethylene and propylene by the enzyme responsible for methane and propane degradation.