Rapid Estimation of TPH Reduction in Oil-Contaminated Soils Using the MED Method

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Oil-contaminated soil and sludge generated during federal well plugging activities in northwestern Pennsylvania are currently remediated on small landfarm sites in lieu of more expensive landfill disposal. Bioremediation success at these sites in the past has been gauged by the decrease in total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) concentrations to less than 10,000 mg/kg measured using EPA Method 418.1. We tested the “molarity of ethanol droplet” (MED) water repellency test as a rapid indicator of TPH concentration in soil at one landfarm near Bradford, PA. MED was estimated by determining the minimum ethanol concentration (0 – 6 M) required to penetrate air-dried ... continued below

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Edenborn, H. M. & Zenone, V. A. September 1, 2007.

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Oil-contaminated soil and sludge generated during federal well plugging activities in northwestern Pennsylvania are currently remediated on small landfarm sites in lieu of more expensive landfill disposal. Bioremediation success at these sites in the past has been gauged by the decrease in total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) concentrations to less than 10,000 mg/kg measured using EPA Method 418.1. We tested the “molarity of ethanol droplet” (MED) water repellency test as a rapid indicator of TPH concentration in soil at one landfarm near Bradford, PA. MED was estimated by determining the minimum ethanol concentration (0 – 6 M) required to penetrate air-dried and sieved soil samples within 10 sec. TPH in soil was analyzed by rapid fluorometric analysis of methanol soil extracts, which correlated well with EPA Method 1664. Uncontaminated landfarm site soil amended with increasing concentrations of waste oil sludge showed a high correlation between MED and TPH. MED values exceeded the upper limit of 6 M as TPH estimates exceed ca. 25,000 mg/kg. MED and TPH at the land farm were sampled monthly during summer months over two years in a grid pattern that allowed spatial comparisons of site remediation effectiveness. MED and TPH decreased at a constant rate over time and remained highly correlated. Inexpensive alternatives to reagent-grade ethanol gave comparable results. The simple MED approach served as an inexpensive alternative to the routine laboratory analysis of TPH during the monitoring of oily waste bioremediation at this landfarm site.

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Publisher in Proceedings of the Ninth International In Situ and On Site Bioremediation Symposium, ISBN 978-1-57477-161-9, paper 178

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  • 9th International In Situ and On-Site Bioremediation Symposium, Baltimore, MD, May 7-10, 2007; Related Information: Attached file contains PDF of paper and of poster.

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  • Report No.: DOE/NETL-IR-2007-142
  • Grant Number: None cited
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 915479
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc886029

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  • September 1, 2007

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 4, 2016, 2:04 p.m.

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Edenborn, H. M. & Zenone, V. A. Rapid Estimation of TPH Reduction in Oil-Contaminated Soils Using the MED Method, article, September 1, 2007; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc886029/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.