State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008MD175B
Title: Summer Fellowship: Integrated experimental and mathematical evaluation to improve the fate of the tetrachloroethene at contaminated sites
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: MD-5
Focus Categories: Groundwater, Toxic Substances
Keywords: groundwater, bioremediation, chlorinated solvents
Principal Investigators: Davis, Allen (U. Maryland)
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,000
Abstract: The solvents, tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) are widely used in a variety of industries. Due to frequent environmental spills and improper disposal of PCE and TCE, they are among the three most common contaminants of groundwater in the U.S. One challenge to successful bioremediation of PCE and TCE is that some of the bacteria that respire these pollutants convert them to compounds that are still considered toxic, which is unacceptable from a bioremediation standpoint. A better understanding of the factors that determine whether oganisms that incompletely detoxify PCE will be dominant in groundwater systems is needed to successfully implement bioremediation of PCE at contaminated sites and protect human health. The objectives of this project are to obtain meaningful and unique kinetic parameter estimates to describe PCE-respiring bacteria by two key populations; to use kinetic estimates to theoretically predict outcome of competition in a continuous-flow reactor using mathematical modeling; and validate the model predictions by experimentally evaluating outcome of competition in the completely mixed continuous-flow reactor.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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