Temitope is a 2nd year environmental engineering PhD student at Auburn University, Alabama. She works in the Capiro’s lab where her research interest focuses on the effects of biological-enhanced back diffusion on the natural attenuation of chlorinated solvents in low permeability media such as aquifer cell systems. Other research areas being explored are environmental microbiology, bioremediation.
Effect of Biological-Enhanced Back Diffusion on the Natural Attenuation of TCE in Low Permeability Media
Biologically-enhanced dissolution of non-aqueous phase liquids has been well-documented; however, less attention has been directed towards biologically-mediated back diffusion of chlorinated ethenes from low-permeability media. In this study, microbial reductive dechlorination impacts on trichloroethene (TCE) back diffusion from low-permeability media were examined in column and aquifer cell experimental systems packed with materials of varying permeability (5.12E-14m² to 1.94E-12m²) and organic carbon content (<0.1 to 0.976% (±0.039)). Chlorinated ethene removal by water flushing was compared between an abiotic control and a biotic system that was bioaugmented with a TCE-to-ethene dechlorinating microbial culture. Quantitative interpretations of bioenhancement extent are being made with a multi-dimensional mathematical model simulating the coupled processes governing natural attenuation. Outcomes of this research will improve understanding of the influence of microbial processes on contaminant mass transfer in regions with pronounced contrasts in permeability and provide insight into the long-term storage and release of contaminants in complex aquifer formations.)