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Evaluating a new injection method of liquid/gas mixture spray injection via performing long-term in situ bioremediation tests

Kyungjin Han, SunHwa Park, Sooyoul Kwon,
Published: 14 May 2020

Abstract: During in situ bioremediation, continuous injection of growth substrates such as carbon sources, electron donors, or electron acceptors inevitably results in microbial growth, resulting in biological clogging in an aquifer. Therefore, for successful bioremediation, development of a new injection method is needed to reduce or alleviate this clogging problem. In this study, we carried out field tracer tests using single-well push-pull tests (SWPPTs), single-well natural gradient drift tests (SWNGDTs), and long-term in situ well-to-well tests to develop and evaluate a new method of liquid/gas mixture spray injection. The effectiveness of the new method was evaluated by estimating the factors as follow: longitudinal dispersivity (αL), radius of influence (RI), shear stress on the surface of aquifer particles (σ), biofilm-shear-loss rate (Rs), and the ratio of volume occupied by cells grown to the original pore volume. At the tested site, the liquid/gas mixture spray injection method turned out to have several advantages compared to the traditional solution injection method: 1) transport of solute to a larger proportion of an aquifer by a factor of 1.3–1.7, 2) application of higher shear stress onto the surface of soil particles by a factor of 4.2–5.0, 3) faster biofilm sloughing rates by a factor of 2.3–2.6, 4) reduction in the ratio of the volume occupied by microorganisms to total pore volume (Volmicrobes/Volpore), and 5) efficient trichloroethylene (TCE) dechlorination for a period of 550 days without any injection problems. This new injection method showed positive effects on the hydrogeological and physical characteristics of the system, thus alleviating the biological clogging problem.
Keywords: In situ bioremediation / Liquid/gas mixture spray injection / Biological clogging

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