Bioremediation of Hydrocarbons and Chlorinated Solvents in Groundwater: Characterisation, Design and Performance Assessment

Bioremediation is an accepted and widely implemented technology for the management of groundwater contaminated by hydrocarbon and chlorinated solvent compounds. This chapter reviews the general application of bioremediation processes within a cost–benefit and risk assessment framework, which considers different contaminant types and their properties, release contexts, and the strengths and limitations of available approaches. The pathways, reaction mechanisms and microorganisms responsible for biodegradation of hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents under aerobic and different anaerobic conditions in groundwater are illustrated. The technical framework and methodology which underpins the characterisation of biodegradation processes for these organic compounds in groundwater is described, including relevant data reduction and interpretation techniques used for the performance assessment of intrinsic and engineered in situ bioremediation. This emphasises the integration of hydrochemical, stable isotope and molecular microbiological analysis with other data in site assessments for in situ bioremediation. Engineering scale-up of bioremediation in groundwater requires knowledge of scale-dependent processes which affect the implementation and performance assessment of this technology. Various methods are described to evaluate these. Comprehensive site investigation is necessary to design in situ bioremediation schemes, with focus on clear definition of the contaminant source a...
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