State Water Resources Research Institute Program


Project ID: 2011NJ280B
Title: Development of a Push-Pull Technique to Simultaneously Characterize Volatilization and Biodegradation Rates of VOCs in Shallow Wetland Sediments
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2011
End Date: 2/29/2012
Congressional District: NJ-012
Focus Categories: Methods, Wetlands, Toxic Substances
Keywords:
Principal Investigators: Reid, Matthew; Jaffe, Peter
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,000
Abstract: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are common groundwater contaminants in New Jersey and throughout the United States. Natural and constructed wetlands have emerged as tools for passive in-situ remediation of contaminated soils and groundwater. Volatilization is a potentially major mechanism for the removal of volatile compounds from shallow wetland sediments, yet rates of volatilization from wetland systems are not well known and current chamber-based methods for quantifying these rates suffer from major limitations. Here we propose a push-pull technique utilizing volatile tracers to quantify volatilization rates without flux chambers. This method will also provide simultaneous quantification of in-situ biodegradation rates. We will first validate this technique in a set of greenhouse mesocosm experiments intended to demonstrate enhanced VOC removal using wetland plants with strong gas exchange capacities. We will then conduct a pilot field experiment in the New Jersey Meadowlands to demonstrate the feasibility of this technique for future assessments of treatment wetlands in remediating contaminated water resources.

Progress/Completion Report, 2011, PDF

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