Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011NE216B

Developing Slow Release Persulfate to Treat BTEX Compounds at LUST Sites

Institute: Nebraska
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $12,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $29,451

Principal Investigators: Steve Comfort, Xu Li

Abstract: Water quality continues to be one of the most important environmental issues in the United States. Few situations can incite more public outcry than when a community learns that their drinking water has been tainted. For most U.S. States, the number one threat to groundwater quality is leaking underground storage tanks (UST). Over the last 20 years, considerable progress has been made in developing a variety of treatments for remediating soils and groundwater contaminated with petroleum products. Despite this progress, new technologies are still being sought to deal with UST located in difficult geologies, such as low permeable aquifers. Our goal is to develop a slow-release persulfate that can be used for in situ treatment of BTEX-contaminated groundwater at petroleum spill sites. To accomplish this goal, this proposal will: (i) quantify the degradation of BTEX compounds by persulfate using different activation chemistries; (ii) blend the persulfate - activator mixture into a slow-release paraffin and determine dissolution rates; (iii) quantify BTEX destruction rates from dissolving persulfate candles under static and 2-D transport conditions in the presence of aquifer material and characterize microbial processes; and (iv) manufacture larger field-scale sized persulfate candles and field test at a leaking UST site to quantify effectiveness.