4 years ago

Impact of sorption processes on PCE concentrations in organohalide-respiring aquifer sediment samples

Impact of sorption processes on PCE concentrations in organohalide-respiring aquifer sediment samples
The evaluation of groundwater contaminant e.g. tetrachloroethene (PCE) degradation processes requires complete quantification of and pathway analysis of the groundwater contaminant under investigation. For example the reduction of PCE concentrations in the groundwater by unknown dissolution and/or sorption processes will impede interpretation of the fate and behaviour of such contaminants. In the present study PCE dissolution and sorption processes during anaerobic microbial degradation of chlorinated ethenes were investigated. For this purpose, microcosms were prepared using sediment samples from a PCE-contaminated aquifer, which in previous studies had demonstrated anaerobic organohalide respiration of PCE. Solid/water distribution coefficients (kd) of PCE were determined and validated by loss-on-ignition (LOI) and PCE sorption experiments. The determined kd magnitudes indicated methodological congruency, yielding values for sediment samples within a range of 1.15±0.02 to 5.93±0.34L·kg1. The microcosm experiment showed lower PCE concentrations than expected, based on spiked PCE and observed anaerobic microbial degradation processes. Nevertheless the amount of PCE spike added was completely recovered albeit in the form of lower chlorinated metabolites. A delay due to dissolution processes was not responsible for this phenomenon. Sorption to sediments could only partially explain the reduction of PCE in the water phase. Accordingly, the results point to reversible sorption processes of PCE, possibly onto bacterial cell compartments and/or exopolymeric substances.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0048969717325767

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