Anaerobic remediation of trichloroethylene (TCE) contaminated soil and groundwater was studied in laboratory setups. In this process fermentation of polymeric organic materials (POMS) produced volatile fatty acids (VFAs) that were electron donors in reductive dechlorination of TCE. Shredded peanut shell was selected as low cost POM and the experiments were set up in 500 ml Erlenmeyer flasks. In the setups, approximately 25 mg of leachate contaminated soil was used as the main source of microorganisms and about 5 g of shredded peanut shell (0.5–2.36 mm) was added to produce VFAs for dechlorination of TCE. In the first set of experiments, fermentation of soil and shredded peanut shell was studied and it was found that VFAs were produced continuously with increasing concentration (5.63 mM as CH3COOH from the first day to 17.17 in the 10th day of the experiment). During the fermentation, concentration of ammonia-nitrogen was 22–50 mg/L, the ratio of VFA to NH3 was 15.29–23.44 and pH was 5.24–6.00. These results show that the system was appropriate for microorganism activities. In the second set of experiments, TCE (∼48 mg/L) was added to the fermentation system and remediation of TCE by reductive dechlorination was studied. It was found that 0.04(±0.01) mg TCE adsorbed to a gram of soil and peanut shells at the beginning of the experiment and based on mass balance of the system, TCE concentration in water was linearly reduced at the rate of 0.0098 mg/hr.

You do not currently have access to this content.