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Petroleum hydrocarbon bioventing kinetics determined in soil core, microcosm, and tubing cluster studies

TitlePetroleum hydrocarbon bioventing kinetics determined in soil core, microcosm, and tubing cluster studies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsMoyer EE, Ostendorf DW, Richards RJ, Goodwin S
JournalGroundwater Monitoring & Remediation
Start Page141
Date Published02/1996

Aerobic biodegradation of vapor-phase petroleum hydrocarbons was evaluated in an intact soil core from the site of an aviation gasoline release. An unsaturated zone soil core was subjected to a flow of nitrogen gas, oxygen, water vapor, and vapor-phase hydrocarbons in a configuration analogous to a biofilter or an in situ bioventing or sparging situation. The vertical profiles of vapor-phase hydrocarbon concentration in the soil core were determined by gas chromatography of vapor samples. Biodegradation reduced low influent hydrocarbon concentrations by 45 to 92 percent over a 0.6-m interval of an intact soil core. The estimated total hydrocarbon concentration was reduced by 75 percent from 26 to 7 parts per million. Steady-state concentrations were input to a simple analytical model balancing advection and first-order biodegradation of hydrocarbons. First-order rate constants for the major hydrocarbon compounds were used to calibrate the model to the concentration profiles. Rate constants for the seven individual hydrocarbon compounds varied by a factor of 4. Compounds with lower molecular weights, fewer methyl groups, and no quaternary carbons tended to have higher rate constants. The first-order rate constants were consistent with kinetic parameters determined from both microcosm and tubing cluster studies at the field site.