Flow dynamics and potential for Biodegradation of Organic Contaminants in Fractured Rock Vadose Zones

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We present an experimental approach for investigating the potential for bioremediation of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in fractured-rock vadose zones. This approach is based on the coupling of fluid flow dynamics and biotransformation processes. Fluid flow and distribution within fracture networks may be a significant factor in the ability of microorganisms to degrade VOCs, as they affect the availability of substrate, moisture and nutrients. Biological activity can change liquid surface tension and generate biofilms that may change the nettability of solid surfaces, locally alter fracture permeability and redirect infiltrating liquids. Our approach has four components: (1) establishing a conceptual model ... continued below

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44 p.

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Geller, J.T.; Holman, H.-Y.; Su, T.-S.; Liou, M.S.; Conrad, M.S.; Pruess, K. et al. December 1, 1998.

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Description

We present an experimental approach for investigating the potential for bioremediation of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in fractured-rock vadose zones. This approach is based on the coupling of fluid flow dynamics and biotransformation processes. Fluid flow and distribution within fracture networks may be a significant factor in the ability of microorganisms to degrade VOCs, as they affect the availability of substrate, moisture and nutrients. Biological activity can change liquid surface tension and generate biofilms that may change the nettability of solid surfaces, locally alter fracture permeability and redirect infiltrating liquids. Our approach has four components: (1) establishing a conceptual model for fluid and contaminant distribution in the geologic matrix of interest; (2) physical and numerical experiments of liquid seepage in the fracture plane; (3) non-destructive monitoring of biotransformations on rock surfaces at the micron-scale; and, (4) integration of flow and biological activity in natural rock ''geocosms''. Geocosms are core-scale flow cells that incorporate some aspects of natural conditions, such as liquid seepage in the fracture plane and moisture content. The experimental work was performed with rock samples and indigenous microorganisms from the site of the US Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), located in a basalt flow basin where VOC contamination threatens the Snake River Aquifer. The insights gained from this approach should contribute to the design of techniques to monitor and stimulate naturally occurring biological activity and control the spread of organic contaminants.

Physical Description

44 p.

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OSTI as DE00006497

Medium: P; Size: 44 pages

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  • Other Information: Supercedes report DE00006497; PBD: 1 Dec 1998

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  • Report No.: LBNL--42587
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • DOI: 10.2172/6497 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 6497
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc710378

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  • December 1, 1998

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • April 12, 2017, 4:41 p.m.

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Geller, J.T.; Holman, H.-Y.; Su, T.-S.; Liou, M.S.; Conrad, M.S.; Pruess, K. et al. Flow dynamics and potential for Biodegradation of Organic Contaminants in Fractured Rock Vadose Zones, report, December 1, 1998; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc710378/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.