Technology Innovation News Survey
Entries for April 1-30, 2012
Federal Business Opportunities, Solicitation DoDSBIR2012-2, 2012
Small high-technology firms are encouraged to submit proposals to DoD for R&D projects with both military and commercial applications in response to the 2012.2 SBIR Solicitation, which will be publicly released on the DoD SBIR website at on May, 24, 2012. The 2012.2 SBIR window of opportunity for submitting proposals will begin May 24 and close on June 27, 2012. Although the majority of needs are focused narrowly on military uses, several technologies of potential environmental application are sought under the Chemical and Biological Defense Program. CBD12-104, Detection of Liquid Contaminants on Surfaces Using Hyperspectral Imaging, solicits the development of a hyperspectal imaging standoff sensor for detecting liquid contaminants on surfaces using passive infrared spectroscopy based on cold-sky reflectance. CBD12-108, Rapid Sample Transport in Austere Environments, seeks the development of advanced, innovative approaches for rapid sample preservation and transport in austere environments. Topic objectives include innovative technologies to enable a low-cost capability to preserve and exfiltrate small biological and environmental samples from austere locations and precisely deliver the sample to a pre-determined recovery area. Austere locations are defined as remote and typically inaccessible locations. This capability will be used to exfiltrate medical or environmental samples from an inaccessible area, perhaps with chemical and/or biological issues, to enable rapid receipt of physical samples at a laboratory analysis facility.
DoD SBIR website: http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/sbir/solicitations/index.shtml
A new online tool can help small companies and entrepreneurs evaluate their awareness of intellectual property (IP)—trade secrets, company data, and more—and learn how to protect it. The National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office collaborated in the development of the IP Awareness Assessment free online tool. Intellectual property is a key concern of small businesses owners, who can secure significant competitive advantages by exercising the rights they hold to their innovations, but many are unaware of their rights and miss their opportunities. Understanding and protecting IP is an important step along the path of bringing innovations to the marketplace, and the new tool is designed to help companies and individuals better navigate the process and become more competitive. The full awareness assessment comprises questions on five IP protection categories—utility patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and design patents. Five general IP categories are also covered: IP strategies and best practices, using technology of others, licensing technology to others, international IP rights, and IP asset tracking. The questions presented in each category have been designed to discover the participant's overall IP awareness. Its developers hope the IP Awareness Assessment Tool will help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality and bring them to market faster, thereby creating jobs more quickly. The IP Awareness Assessment tool is available at no charge at www.uspto.gov/inventors/assessment/
Federal Business Opportunities, FBO-3823, Solicitation W912PP-12-R-0031, 2012
As part of the Multiple Environmental Government Acquisition Strategy, Northwestern, Southwestern, and South Pacific Divisions, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Albuquerque District proposes to contract for environmental remediation services, including but not limited to the DoD Environmental Restoration Program; Formerly Used Defense Sites; DoD Environmental Compliance Program, Environmental Support for Others Program; support to U.S. EPA, including Superfund and Brownfield Programs; Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program; environmental cleanup for various military and interagency and international support customers; environmental stewardship; and other related regulatory programs. Offerors should note that the work procured under this contract will not include projects related to the USACE Military Munitions Response Program. The solicitation will be issued around June 30, 2012, for a total 8(a) contractor set-aside IDIQ multiple-award task order contract. This request for proposal will be available for award only to certified 8(a) firms under NAICS code 562910, Environmental Remediation Services, size standard of 500 employees. Firm fixed-price or cost-reimbursement task orders will be written against the IDIQ contracts. This solicitation will facilitate award of up to five contracts with a maximum capacity of $25 million shared between USACE Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Albuquerque Districts. Contracts will have a base period of three years and an option to extend the contract for an additional two-year period. The contracts awarded will include firm fixed-price and cost-reimbursement features for a wide range of environmental remediation services, mainly to provide services related to the requirements of RCRA, CERCLA, and other federal programs, in addition to state- or community-specific requirements dealing with hazardous waste management/disposal, radioactive or mixed waste management/disposal, and underground storage tanks or other fuel-related issues. Instructions to access technical data and other information can be found on the Omaha District Contracting Division webpage: http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/contracting.html
Federal Business Opportunities, FBO-3842, Solicitation W912QR-AEENVIRONMENTAL, 2012
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is conducting a Market Survey to determine the availability of interested and qualified small business, HUBZone small business, 8(a) small business, economically disadvantaged women-owned small business, or service-disabled veteran-owned small business contractors for an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) base contract for small business architect/engineer environmental services. Base IDIQ contract awards for providing A/E environmental services will potentially be awarded to multiple small businesses and set-asides. Task orders will be issued against the base contract on an as-needed basis. The contractors will be required to perform services at federal/military and civil works projects throughout the world, including the continental United States, its territories, and other locations outside the contiguous United States within the USACE's assigned mission areas. Firms must be capable of performing work on a wide variety of hazardous, toxic, and radiological sites in addition to other environmental sites in a manner that complies with federal, state, and local regulations and laws, and within the time frames required. Specific needs will be determined based upon project requirements and as described in each task order. A-E services required under this contract include, but are not limited to performing environmental studies, designs, and general support of environmental issues under RCRA, CERCLA, SARA, TSCA, CWA and other federal programs. The estimated advertisement date is June 29, 2012. Contract duration is estimated to be one 3-year base period with an option to extend for an additional two years. The NAICS code is 541330 with a size limitation of $14 million. All Interested offerors should submit notifications in writing by mail on or before June 14, 2012, 10 a.m. ET. Responses should include identification of business classification. Responses to this sources-sought notice will be used by the Government to make appropriate acquisition decisions. https://www.fbo.gov/spg/USA/COE/DACA27/W912QR-AEENVIRONMENTAL/listing.html
Federal Business Opportunities, FBO-3843, Solicitation SOL-HQ-12-00002, 2012
Potential offerors are invited to respond to a request for proposal on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to acquire a competitive, full and open contract to provide analytical, managerial, and technical services to EPA's Office of Site Remediation Enforcement. Pursuant to the OSRE-3 statement of work, the contractor shall perform in accordance with all environmental statutes as applicable (e.g., CERCLA, SARA, RCRA Corrective Action, Oil Pollution Act, Leaking Underground Storage Tanks, or successor statutes and regulatory programs). These services will primarily be provided within EPA's Headquarters in the Washington, DC area. It is the Government's intent to award a cost reimbursement plus fixed-fee contract from the solicitation through full and open competition. The Government may issue either cost-reimbursement term form or firm fixed-price work assignments under this contract. The anticipated ordering period includes one 12-month base period and four 12-month option periods, with a maximum potential ordering period totaling 60 months. The total estimated level of effort (LOE) including optional quantity LOE hours for this requirement for all years is 75,000 professional labor hours. The NAICS code for this acquisition is 561110, with a size standard of $7 million in gross annual receipts or income. The synopsis, amendments, and other information related to this procurement as well as any subsequent procurement notifications will be posted at FBO.gov and the EPA website: www.epa.gov/oam/srpod/index.htm
ALTA 2011 Gold, 18 pp, 2011
ASTER™, an acronym for activated sludge tailings effluent remediation, is a proprietary technology that offers a safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible alternative in mining operations to conventional cyanide management and contaminated water disposal. The technology utilizes a blend of naturally occurring microbial species to destroy cyanide and thiocyanate present in recycled tailings process water following the leaching process. The operational efficiency of ASTER™ was proven on a commercial scale in 2011 with the operation of the first commercial ASTER™ plant at Barberton Mines in South Africa. Process water from the plant demonstrated only trace levels of cyanide, as well as thiocyanate concentrations of <1 ppm. This concentration is below what most chemical processes are capable of achieving and well within the International Cyanide Management Code cyanide concentration limit of 50 ppm. Previously, the recycling of tailings process water containing concentrations of thiocyanate and cyanide was impractical owing to the almost zero tolerance to these species of the microorganisms used in the bioleaching of sulfide minerals. http://www.smudge.co.za/demo/biox8/pdf/2011_04_aster_process_development_piloting_demonstration_commercialisation2011.pdf
EPA 600-R-12-033, 64 pp, Apr 2012
U.S. EPA is the primary federal agency responsible for remediation in the aftermath of a terrorist release of chemical warfare agent. EPA evaluated the effectiveness of two enzyme-based decontamination technologies—DEFENZ™ VX-G (for decontamination of VX and G-type nerve agents) and DEFENZ™ B-HD (for decontamination of sulfur mustard)—and the extent to which the efficacy of the enzyme solutions changed after preparation and storage. DEFENZ™ VX-G contains granulated organophosphorus acid anhydrolase and organophosphorus hydrolase enzymes, while DEFENZ™ B-HD contains an arylesterase enzyme that catalyzes a chemical reaction to produce peracetic acid. This report summarizes the decontamination efficacy of the two products on five types of surfaces—wood, laminate, vinyl, carpet, and galvanized metal—at different concentrations and application time frames. http://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_file_download.cfm?p_download_id=506264
International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology: IPCBEE, Vol 30, 1-5, 2012
For remediation of domestic sites contaminated with heavy metals, soil washing techniques can be used to treat contaminated soils relatively quickly. Soil washing is economically feasible and widely used, but remedial efficiency and cost fluctuate significantly with soil texture. The proportion of fine soils has a strong influence on contaminant concentration, as a high proportion of fine soil generally makes the treatment efficiency low and increases the cost. At a site adjacent to J. refinery in Korea, the authors evaluated the results obtained when washing soils of different particle size (sandy or silty) and developed recommendations for an optimized remediation scenario based upon soil texture. The project site is contaminated with metals, particularly arsenic, scattered in dust from the refinery's stack. To remediate the contaminated soils, a soil washing plant with a capacity of 3 ton/hr was installed on the site and has been in operation since October 2010. In the soil washing optimization scenario, soil particles that are dominant in terms of soil particle size distribution but are relatively less contaminated are separated. If the separated soils meet the legal arsenic standard, they are reused as backfill or for other purposes. This separation approach decreases the quantity of highly contaminated soil that needs active treatment and thereby decreases costs. In sandy soils, fine, highly contaminated soil particles are precisely size-separated by multi-microcyclones and then forwarded for treatment. In silty soils, highly contaminated coarse soil particles can easily meet the Korean legal arsenic standard of 25 mg/kg by acid extraction treatment. Work at the J. refinery site shows that a practice of concentrating contaminated soil into a smaller volume using particle-size separation can contribute to an efficient and cost-effective implementation of soil-washing technology. http://www.ipcbee.com/vol30/001--ICEST2012_N00006.pdf
Georgia Institute of Technology: 2011 Kappe Lecture. Lecture and video runtime: 54:11 minutes, Oct 2011
This online seminar addresses the pros and cons of alternative contaminated sediment remedial approaches and considers the utility of multiple approaches within individual sites. The presentation focuses on the Lower Fox River, Wisconsin, which flows from Lake Winnebago northeast to Green Bay, and drains into Lake Michigan. The Lower Fox River (LFR) megasite comprises ~39 miles of the LFR as well as the Bay of Green Bay, one of the major bays of Lake Michigan, and is one of the nations' largest sediment remediation sites. River bottom sediments throughout the 39-mile length of the river and extending into Green Bay have been contaminated by historical discharges of wastewater from paper mills and publicly owned treatment works located along the river. The PCB wastewater discharges derived from the manufacturing, de-inking, and recycling of carbonless copy paper. An estimated 279,000 to 881,000 pounds of PCBs were released to the river, almost entirely prior to 1972. Persisting today, the PCB contamination has led to excessive body burdens of PCBs in fish, to the point that only catch-and-release fishery is advised on the river. The sediments of the LFR and to a lesser extent the Bay have been the focus of investigation and remediation efforts for decades. This presentation provides an overview of the remedial options evaluated for the contaminated sediments of the River, and the consequent environmental advantages and risks associated with each remedial approach. http://smartech.gatech.edu/handle/1853/42023
PNNL-18845, Rev 1, 72 pp, Sep 2011
In 1994, a 2-ha multi-component alternative cover was constructed using natural materials over an existing waste disposal site at DOE's Hanford site. Monitoring has been almost continuous since installation and has focused on barrier stability, vegetative cover, plant and animal intrusion, and the components of the water balance, including precipitation, runoff, storage, drainage, and percolation. The total precipitation received from October 1994 through August 2008 was 3,311 mm on the northern half (formerly irrigated) and 2,638 mm on the southern, non-irrigated half. Water storage in the fine-soil layer shows a cyclic pattern, increasing in the winter and decreasing in the spring and summer to a lower limit of around 100 mm, regardless of precipitation, in response to evapotranspiration. Topographic surveys show the barrier and side slopes to be stable, and the pea-gravel admix has proven effective in minimizing erosion through the creation of a desert pavement during deflationary periods. Three runoff events have been observed, but the 600-mm design storage capacity has never been exceeded. Total percolation ranged from near zero amounts under the soil-covered plots to over 600 mm under the side slopes. The asphaltic concrete prevented any of this water from reaching the buried waste, thereby eliminating the driving force for contaminant remobilization. Plant surveys show a relatively high coverage of native plants still persists after the initial revegetation, although the number of species decreased from 35 in 1994 to 10 in 2009. Ample evidence of insect and small mammal use suggests that the barrier is behaving like a recovering ecosystem. In September 2008, the north half of the barrier was burned to remove vegetation and study the effects of fire on barrier performance. The most immediate effects have been on water storage patterns; the bare surface showed a slower accumulation of water, smaller peak storage, and a delayed release relative to the unburned side due to evaporation. Residual storage at the end of the year was nonetheless similar for the burned and unburned sides. This report summarizes the 15 years of performance data collected from September 1994 through September 2009. http://www.pnnl.gov/main/publications/external/technical_reports/PNNL-18845rev1.pdf
Environmental Science & Technology, Vol 45 No 16, 6709-6715, 2011
The devastating environmental impacts of the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 and its media notoriety made it a frequent comparison to the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the popular press in 2010, even though the nature of the two spills and the environments impacted were vastly different. Fortunately, unlike higher organisms that are adversely impacted by oil spills, microorganisms are able to consume petroleum hydrocarbons. These oil-degrading indigenous microorganisms played a significant role in reducing the overall environmental impact of both the Exxon Valdez and BP Deepwater Horizon oil spills. http://esd.lbl.gov/FILES/about/staff/terryhazen/2011Atlas_Hazen_EST.pdf
International Journal of Phytoremediation, Vol 14 Supp 1, 26-46, 2012
The Riverbend Landfill in Western Oregon has been employing phytoremediation of landfill leachate since 1993 by using the leachate to irrigate poplar trees. The site has been adaptively managed to control salinity impacts to the tree crop while beneficially utilizing the applied water and nutrients during each growing season. Representative leachate irrigation water has ranged in concentration of total dissolved solids from 777 to 6,940 mg/L, chloride from 180 to 1,760 mg/L, and boron from 3.2 to 7.3 mg/L. Annual leachate irrigation applications have also ranged between 102 and 812 mm/yr. This paper identifies lessons learned during 15 years of successful site management. Appropriate tree clone selection and tree stand spacing, thinning, and harvest rotations are critical to maintaining a productive tree stand that is resilient and resistant to salt stress, and the most effective planting combinations for the site are discussed. Leaf tissue boron levels are closely correlated to soil boron levels and can be managed with leaching. When leaf tissue boron levels exceed 200 to 250 mg/kg, signs of salt stress that emerge should be monitored closely. Salinity from leachate irrigation can be managed to sustain a healthy tree crop by controlling mass loading rates and providing appropriate irrigation blending if necessary. Irrigating alternately with fresh water and leachate and using fresh water as 30% of total irrigation water can control salt impacts to vegetation. Drip irrigation generally requires more careful attention to long-term soil salinity management than spray irrigation, and it is important to move drip irrigation tubes periodically to prevent the formation of highly saline zones within the soil profile. This 15-year record of monitoring and operational data can be used by others in managing irrigation of saline water to poplar trees at landfill sites. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/15226514.2011.607868
U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5013, 62 pp, 2012
The predominant contaminants in groundwater beneath the former landfill at Operable Unit 1are TCE, cis-1,2-DCE, and vinyl chloride. The remedy selected for the OU 1 groundwater contamination includes phytoremediation and natural attenuation. In 1999, the U.S. Navy planted two hybrid poplar plantations, referred to as the northern and southern plantations, over the most contaminated parts of the landfill. The Navy monitors tree health, groundwater levels, and contaminant concentrations to assess the effectiveness of phytoremediation. In 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began a cooperative effort with the Navy to monitor the effectiveness of natural attenuation processes for removing and controlling the migration of chloroethenes and chloroethanes. Field and lab studies from 1996 through 2000 demonstrated substantial biodegradation of chloroethenes and chloroethanes in shallow groundwater at OU 1. USGS monitored geochemical and contaminant concentrations in groundwater annually from 2001 through 2010. Geochemical and contaminant concentration data through 2010 indicate that biodegradation of chloroethenes in groundwater continued beneath the landfill at OU 1. The evidence indicating that biodegradation was a primary cause for the decreased concentrations included decreasing ratios of more highly chlorinated compounds to less chlorinated compounds over time, and widespread detections of the non-chlorinated biodegradation end products ethane and ethene. Overall, biodegradation of chloroethenes in groundwater throughout OU 1 continued through 2010, and it prevented most of the mass of dissolved-phase chloroethenes in the upper aquifer beneath the landfill from discharging to surface water. http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2012/5013/
Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation, Vol 32 No 1, 99-105, 2012
Successful bioremediation of a large, migrating, dilute vinyl chloride plume was achieved in Massachusetts with an aerobic biostimulation treatment approach utilizing both oxygen and ethene. Initial microcosm studies showed that adding ethene under aerobic conditions stimulated the rapid degradation of VC in site groundwater. Deployment of a full-scale treatment system achieved plume migration cutoff and nearly complete elimination of above-standard VC concentrations. At the time of the initial site assessment, modeling suggested that the plume would continue to migrate, passing through areas with private drinking water wells. The plume was projected to discharge to downgradient surface waters in ~50 years at VC levels still above the regulatory standard. The bioremediation treatment reported here achieved full attenuation of most of the plume only three to four years after full-scale implementation. Three downgradient treatment lines have now been discontinued, and monitoring of the area is ongoing. Residual VC greater than the 2 µg/L GW-1 standard continues to migrate into the area of the first line of treatment from an upgradient source, however, and treatment continues in this area, while the persistent source is the subject of further investigation. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1745-6592.2011.01371.x/pdf
Publication No. 12-03-007, 30 pp, Jan 2012
This report is one in a series that describes groundwater monitoring results at the Shelton Laundry and Cleaners, Shelton, Washington. PCE contamination of shallow groundwater underlying Shelton Laundry and Cleaners was discovered in 1997. The source of contamination was assumed to be a 1993 solvent spill outside the dry cleaner's commercial building. Monitoring of four shallow wells in 1998 detected PCE in the local aquifer at concentrations as high as 280 µg/L in the well located nearest the reported spill location (4W). The Washington State Model Toxic Control Act (MTCA) Method A cleanup level for PCE is 5 µg/L. In June 2005, in an attempt to remediate the contamination, Ecology contractors injected a hydrogen release compound (HRC®) into the groundwater around well 4W. Subsequent groundwater monitoring results indicated that the HRC was temporarily effective in reducing the contaminant concentrations; however, since August 2006, concentrations have gradually increased, returning to their pre-HRC injection concentrations. During the monitoring periods of October 2010 and June 2011, PCE concentrations in shallow well 4W continue to exceed the MTCA Method A cleanup level of 5 ug/L, ranging from ~24 to 35 µg/L. Groundwater monitoring will continue in well 4W for the next year. Evaluation of additional soil remediation is recommended. http://www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/1203007.html
Pacific Wood Treating (PWT) operated on the Port of Ridgefield waterfront property from 1964-1993, when it declared bankruptcy. Contamination related to PWT—wood treatment solutions containing creosote, pentachlorophenol, copper, chromium and arsenic—has been found in soil and groundwater on and off the port property. In 1996 and 2001, the Department of Ecology and the port entered into a legal agreement to investigate and clean up contamination from the former plant. From 2004-2011, the port's steam injection treatment system removed 24,800 gallons of liquid contamination, 1,545,000 pounds of contaminated sludge, and contaminants from over 144 million gallons of groundwater. The steam injection system has served its purpose, and its operation ended June 30, 2011. It is being cleaned and decommissioned. http://www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/1209102.html
Aqua Concorde Water Analysis and Water Technology Ltd. EU Projects, 45 pp, 2011
Wastewaters in municipal systems are frequently polluted by heavy metals from industrial discharge violations. To discover these pollution peaks, which generally last only 0.5 to 2 hours and occur mainly at night and on weekends, a new analytical monitor is required. Due to the high organic (fat, oil, grease) and inorganic suspended matter content of the wastewaters, the well-known and sensitive analytical sensors and methods are not suitable for 24/7 operation. Based on a new analytical measuring principle (electrolyte cathode atmospheric-glow discharge-emission spectroscopy), the development of a novel metal monitor enabled direct analysis of levels of heavy metals in untreated wastewater. Although the device places no sensor surface or optical window in contact with the sample, it measures all free-ionic, complexed, and hydrolyzed metal forms without strong mineralization process. Measuring ranges are ~0.1/0.2/0.3 - 10 - 100 mg/L for multiple metals. No special reagents or fine filtering (below 0.2 to 0.3 mm) are required. The monitor accepts samples loaded with fat emulsion. Power consumption is low, achieving 1 to 5 measurements per hour. Long-term operation of the monitor called for innovative design in the self-cleaning raw sample filtering unit to allow the assay of total metal content (dissolved + colloidal + fine suspended components). A field test of the metals monitor was carried out between 13 and 16 July 2010 at the Wastewater Treatment Plant at Bohumin Steel Works, Bohumin, Czech Republic. Four days of monitor operation in the inflow stream successfully demonstrated the peak observation power of the instrument in the 0 to 5 mg/dm3 total concentration range. http://enfo.agt.bme.hu/drupal/sites/default/files/PUBL_GreenWWater.pdf
Demonstrations / Feasibility Studies
IEEE International Conference on Solid-State Sensors and Actuators (Transducers), June 5-9, 2011, Beijing, China. 799-802, 2011 Two fully integrated and automatically controlled MEMS gas chromatographs (µGC) were successfully deployed in the field to monitor TCE at trace-level concentrations (0.6 to 80 ppb) in homes affected by vapor intrusion from surrounding TCE-contaminated soil. Each instrument combines a high-volume sampling module (non-microfabricated) with a microanalytical module consisting of a microfocuser, dual microcolumns, and a chemiresistor array detector. A complete measurement cycle requires 15 to 35 min, depending on required sensitivity (sampling volume). A limit of detection of 0.04 ppb was achieved on the basis of field calibrations. Fixed-site (temporal TCE fluctuations) and portable (spatial mapping of TCE) operating modes were successfully demonstrated. Stable responses and good agreement with concentrations determined with standard reference methods were achieved over a 2-week test period. http://wims2.org/publications/papers/1307986196-kim%20zellers%20field%20testing%20tducers%2011.pdf
This project validated the use of a direct-push and point-and-detect field-deployable sensor system—the Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) system—for real-time and in situ use to measure perchlorate either for rapid screening and monitoring purposes or for contaminant source characterization in ground or surface waters. The SERS system comprises a portable Raman system (complete with laser, spectrometer, detector, and computer) with a detachable fiber-optic probe. A SERS sensor module that houses the cationic-coated SERS substrates was designed and built to mount onto the fiber optic probe. The sensor module was deployed inside a direct-push cone penetrometer sampling probe to measure perchlorate in situ in real time as a function of depth. Demonstrations were conducted at Edwards Air Force Base Site 285. Located in the northern part of the base, Site 285 is the former site of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory solid rocket motor activities. Contamination at the site resulted from the use of ammonium perchlorate, an ingredient in solid rocket fuel. Soil samples were collected from Site 285 to test the sensor's ability to measure perchlorate concentrations accurately in contaminated groundwater. Because perchlorate acts like a solid in soil but dissolves like table salt in groundwater, researchers were able to obtain groundwater samples from the soil at Site 285. Data from the sensor were compared with EPA Standard Method 6860. Using split samples, the correlation coefficient between the standard method and the real-time sensor was 0.94. Given the accuracy of the real-time sensor in comparison to standard methods, the sensor can be used for rapid delineation of the location of perchlorate plumes. Understanding the extent and concentration of underground plumes is important when designing the most cost-effective remediation approach and determining the efficacy of the treatment process. The SERS system has since been installed in all Navy Site Characterization Analysis Penetrometer System (SCAPS) trucks and now is available for use by Navy regional program managers at sites containing potential subsurface perchlorate plumes. http://www.nesdi.navy.mil/Files/NESDI_FY11_Annual_Report.pdf
ASSAY: A Newsletter about Acid Sulfate Soils, No 58, p 2-4, 2011
A 5-year trial of a subsurface alkaline barrier to manage acidic groundwater has demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique in raising downstream pH. Acidic groundwater generated from acid sulfate soil (ASS) is a major environmental problem for agriculture in the Shoalhaven floodplain, southeast NSW, Australia. A practical and innovative option for in situ passive remediation of groundwater in ASS terrain is to intercept the contaminated groundwater by installing an alkaline permeable reactive barrier (PRB). Recycled concrete was recommended as a suitable reactive medium for the PRB based on batch tests on 24 different types of alkaline materials and short-term column tests. In October 2006, a pilot-scale PRB (17.7 m long x 1.2 m wide x 3.0 m deep) was installed close to a flood mitigation drain, intersecting the groundwater flow path on the Shoalhaven floodplain. A research team from the University of Wollongong filled the PRB with crushed recycled concrete aggregates (40 mm diameter), and the trench was lined with geotextile fabric to protect the reactive media from physical clogging by soil and other fine particles. The performance of the PRB has been monitored continuously with frequent fieldwork over the past five years. The groundwater inside the PRB has consistently been alkaline to neutral (pH 10.2 to 7.3), indicating that reducing conditions were dominant for the dissolution of alkaline minerals from the reactive media. The difference in pH between groundwater upgradient, inside, and downgradient of the PRB demonstrates effective neutralization of the acidic groundwater. A slight decrease in groundwater pH and Al and Fe removal efficiency over time suggests that some armoring of the surface of the concrete aggregates has occurred due to the precipitation of hydroxides and oxyhydroxides of Al and Fe. Researchers at the University of Wollongong are assessing the changes in flow behavior due to armoring to develop a time-dependent porous medium flow model combining particle retention and groundwater flow with chemical precipitation. The model will be used to analyze the effects of acidic flow-induced clogging and PRB longevity for the benefit of future PRB design in ASS terrain. http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/426141/ASSAY-58.pdf
An ozone injection pilot system was installed in 1997 to destroy pentachlorophenol (PCP) in the water exiting New Cricket Spring. When groundwater treatment by ozone oxidation was found to be successful, the ozone system was upgraded in 1997 and 1999 to handle the maximum flow in the New Cricket Spring, which occurs about 20 days per year. The upgraded ozone system is able to destroy PCP in the spring water to meet standards set by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality for the Arkwood site and will operate until water exiting New Cricket Spring can meet the site PCP goals. A second ozone injection pilot study was initiated in December 2005 and operated through August 2009 to evaluate the potential for accelerating reduction of residual PCP in the subsurface between the site and New Cricket Spring. The second pilot system, followed by continued injection of non-ozonated water, has successfully reduced the average PCP concentration in the treatment area to a level slightly exceeding the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality cleanup goal. The groundwater contaminants will continue to attenuate naturally over time. http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/fiveyear/f2011060004127.pdf
Science of the Total Environment, Vol 423, 185-189, 2012
Mechanical soil aeration involves agitation of contaminated soil using tilling or other means to volatilize contaminants. The technology is an effective and low-cost ex situ remediation technique suitable for large sites contaminated with VOCs; however, testing and development remains to be done to understand the effectiveness of the technology and the main factors influencing its efficacy. This paper describes the implementation of mechanical soil aeration at pilot scale at an abandoned chlor-alkali chemical facility to address high levels of 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCA). The pilot achieved VOC removal efficiency greater than 99%. A better result was observed in the first 120 h than the last 120 h. Both temperature and agitation affected 1,2-DCA degradation. Agitation had a significant effect during the first 120 h, but higher environmental or soil temperatures resulted in more rapid attenuation of the contaminant with a greater effect on the reaction rate constant and the half-life of 1,2-DCA compared with agitation.
Advanced Materials Research, Vols 356-360, 1131-1134, 2011
This paper describes a full-scale field investigation of thermal desorption remediation of soil contaminated with 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCA) at the site of a former chlor-alkali plant. The effects of soil type, system temperature, thermal desorption time, and stirring speed on the residual concentration of 1, 2-DCA are discussed. The residual concentration of 1,2-DCA decreased with increasing viscosity, system temperature, thermal desorption time, and stirring speed. Optimal thermal desorption conditions for moderately contaminated clay soil were a system temperature of 130°C and thermal desorption time of 50 min with stirring. Optimal conditions for heavily contaminated clay soil were a system temperature of 130°C and thermal desorption time of 90 min with stirring. This effort provides technological parameters and theoretical guidance for engineering thermal desorption systems in the field.
At Gulf Coast Area Landfills (GCAL), located near Biloxi, Mississippi, leachate problems compounded rapidly when an unavoidable change in site conditions increased leachate production by an order of magnitude, from 350,000 to 3,500,000 gallons/year. Reducing leachate production was not an option. Traditional leachate handling consists of transporting leachate in tanker trucks to municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). At GCAL, the accepting WWTP was located 150 miles away. After evaluation of numerous traditional and nontraditional options, the contractor recommended phytoremediation as a cost-effective means to handle leachate on site. The phytoremediation recommendation focused on using a unique grass called vetiver, a perennial grass native to India. The USDA has designated vetiver a non-invasive plant, and the grass has been available in the United States for decades but has not been used to address leachate problems. Vetiver is well suited for leachate utilization due to its tremendous water and nutrient demand, fast growth, and high tolerance of extreme environmental conditions. Coincidentally, the main components of leachate are water and contaminants that provide micro- and macro-nutrients used by the plants. Phytoremediation was approved on the condition that the existing disposal process was not disrupted. The contractor designed and installed an automated leachate pre-treatment and distribution system that responds to changes in weather conditions and leachate production and quality. The leachate flows through 35,000 feet of underground piping and a specially-designed subsurface drip irrigation system, which is designed for remote access through telemetry for desktop monitoring and management. The success of this project has caused GCAL to embrace phytoremediation as an environmentally friendly approach to leachate treatment. This demonstration project was recognized with an award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers: the 2012 Grand Prize for Small Projects to contractor Leggette, Brashears & Graham, Inc. www.aaee.net/DownloadCenter/EEV48N2Spring2012.pdf
International Journal of Phytoremediation, Vol 14 Supp 1, 76-93, 2012
Two instrumented test sections were constructed in summer 1999 at the Kiefer Landfill near Sacramento, California, to test the hydraulic performance of two proposed alternative final covers. Both test sections simulated monolithic evapotranspiration (ET) designs that differed primarily in thickness. Both were seeded with a mix of two perennial and one annual grass species. Oleander seedlings were also planted in the thicker test section. Detailed hydrologic performance monitoring of the covers was conducted from 1999 through 2005. The thicker test section met the performance criterion (average percolation of <3 mm/yr). The thinner test section transmitted considerably more percolation (average of 55 mm/yr). Both test sections were decommissioned in summer 2005 to investigate changes in soil hydraulic properties, geomorphology, and vegetation and to collect data to support a revised design. Field data from hydrologic monitoring and the decommissioning study subsequently were included in a hydrologic modeling study to estimate the performance of an optimized cover system for full-scale application. The decommissioning study showed that properties of the soils changed over the monitoring period (saturated hydraulic conductivity and water holding capacity increased, density decreased) and that the perennial grasses and shrubs intended for the cover were out-competed by annual species with shallower roots and lesser capacity for water uptake. Of these changes, reduced ET from the shallow-rooted annual vegetation is believed to be the primary cause for the high percolation rate from the thinner test section. Hydrologic modeling suggests that the target hydraulic performance can be achieved using an ET cover with similar thickness to the thin test section if perennial vegetation species observed in surrounding grasslands can be established. This finding underscores the importance of establishing and maintaining the appropriate vegetation on ET covers in this climate. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/15226514.2011.607871
Scientific Reports, Vol 2, Article 363, 13 Apr 2012
Researchers at Rice University and Penn State University have discovered that adding boron to carbon while creating nanotubes turns them into solid, spongy, reusable blocks that have an exceptional ability to absorb oil spilled in water—one of a range of potential innovations for a material created in a single step. The introduction of boron puts 'kinks' into the nanotubes as they grow and promotes the formation of covalent bonds, which give the sponges their robust qualities. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes grown on a substrate via chemical vapor deposition usually stand up straight without any real connections to their neighbors. When boron is added at very high temperatures, the boron-introduced defects induce the nanotubes to bond at the atomic level, which tangles them into a complex network created directly during growth as a cross-linked porous network. The blocks are both superhydrophobic and oleophilic. The nanosponges, which are more than 99% air, also conduct electricity and can be manipulated with magnets. This nanomaterial has extremely low density, so the available volume is large. Oil absorbed by the sponge can be burned off and the sponge returned to the water to absorb more. The sponge can also store the oil for later retrieval. For effective use on oil spills, the material would need to be formed in large sheets, and work on this process continues. The researchers collaborated with peers in labs around the nation and in Spain, Belgium, and Japan, supported by funding from the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Project MURI program for the synthesis and characterization of 3-D carbon nanotube solid networks. Read the open access paper at http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/120413/srep00363/full/srep00363.html
The spatial variability of total and phosphate-extractable arsenic (As) concentrations was evaluated in soil adjacent to a cattle-dip site located at Wollongbar in northern NSW, Australia. Modeling results from the linear mixed model showed that total and phosphate-extractable As concentrations in the soil adjacent to the dip site varied greatly and increased significantly toward the dip site, indicating that As variability in soil was spatially correlated with distance from the dip. The data suggest that 5 samples would be required to assess the soil contamination level and 15 samples would be required to evaluate the effects of phytoremediation of As-contaminated site. The proposed guidelines on sampling requirements are important to estimate the variability in As contamination levels around other cattle-dip sites and to monitor changes in soil As content from phytoremediation activities. The phytoremediation study compared the potential of Pityrogramma calomelanos var. austroamericana (gold dust fern) against the well-known Pteris vittata (Chinese brake fern) grown over a 27-month duration at the cattle-dip site. The ferns were planted in January 2009 and harvested following 10, 22, and 27 months of growth. After 10 months of growth (short-term data), P. calomelanos produced significantly higher frond dry biomass, possessed higher frond As concentration, and removed more As in fronds than P. vittata. Further samplings up to 27 months (long-term data) confirmed the earlier results that the mean frond dry biomass, As concentration, and As uptake were significantly higher in P. calomelanos than P. vittata. In the three harvests over the 27-month period, P. calomelanos removed (8,053 mg As) 2.65 times more As than P. vittata (3,042 mg As). For the surface (0 to 20 cm) and subsurface (40 to 60 cm) layers, the mean total soil As content was reduced by 49 and 63%, respectively, using P. calomelanos; and 17 and 15%, respectively, by P. vittata. It is estimated that P. calomelanos would take ~6 years to decrease mean total As content below the ecological investigation level (i.e., 20 mg/kg) limit in the surface and subsurface soils, whereas P. vittata would require 13 to 15 years to achieve this target. The field study results suggest that P. calomelanos var. austroamericana is better suited than P. vittata for the phytoremediation of As-contaminated soils under the conditions existing at the cattle dip site. http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/8047
Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), Project ER-200833, 330 pp, Oct 2011
At Site ST012 on the former Williams Air Force Base, the Air Force conducted a pilot test of thermally enhanced extraction (TEE) from 2008 through 2010 to reduce the mass and longevity of a jet fuel source in the saturated zone. Before and after the pilot test, novel tools were applied in the source zone to measure and analyze mass discharge. The tools included integral pumping tests combined with deployment of Passive Flux Meters™ and multi-component modeling using the source-zone depletion function of the model SEAM3D. Resulting data were synthesized into a model of NAPL architecture and mass dissolution. The change in the mass discharge rate pre- and post-TEE was compared to the mass removed from the subsurface during the TEE pilot test as a criterion for the success of the demonstration. Generalized results from the mass transfer testing at ST012 can be used at other sites to improve characterization approaches for NAPL source areas. http://www.serdp-estcp.org/content/download/14741/170457/file/ER-200833-FR.pdf
Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), Project ER-201025, 59 pp, Jan 2012
The objective of this study was an empirical validation of selected adsorbents for preconcentration of TCE, PCE, and benzene in air samples containing low concentrations of these VOCs. For validation of adsorbent tube performance, the investigators selected adsorbent-analyte pairings likely to offer good quantitative recovery of the target VOCs. For the selected adsorbent-analyte pairings, sampling conditions were evaluated that are representative of sampling indoor air and soil gas with respect to sample volume, humidity, mass of target VOCs, mass of non-target VOCs, and holding time between sample collection and analysis. The project also investigated the recovery of target analyte mass and any associated isotope effects. The results demonstrate fractionation-free performance for Carboxen 1016, which allows precise isotope ratio analysis into vapor intrusion site assessment protocols and other applications where VOCs of interest are present at low microgram-per-cubic-meter concentrations. http://www.serdp-estcp.org/content/download/14786/170817/file/ER-201025-TR.pdf
Environmental Science & Technology, Vol 46 No 9, 4792-4799, 2012
The use of measured VOC concentrations in indoor air to evaluate vapor intrusion is complicated by indoor sources of the same VOCs and temporal variability in vapor intrusion (VI). This study evaluated the efficacy of utilizing induced negative and positive building pressure conditions during a VI investigation program to provide an improved understanding of the VI potential. Pressure control was achieved in five of six buildings where the investigation program was tested. For these five buildings, the induced pressure differences were sufficient to control the flow of soil gas through the building foundation. Comparison of VOC concentrations in indoor air measured during the negative and positive pressure test conditions was sufficient to determine whether VI was the primary source of VOCs in indoor air at these buildings. The study results indicate that sampling under controlled building pressure can help minimize ambiguity caused by both indoor sources of VOCs and temporal variability in VI investigations.
At Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP) was detected at levels above California's action level, resulting in the removal of two groundwater wells from service. TCP is highly persistent in groundwater. The testing of zero-valent metals as a TCP treatment option at Camp Pendleton has demonstrated their potential for TCP remediation and also provided modeling results for cost estimates of scaling the technology. This study drew upon results from SERDP Project ER-1457, which investigated abiotic degradation pathways initiated by materials such as iron and zinc. The first stage of the effort—bench-scale testing—was conducted to identify which zero-valent materials were most suitable for the Camp Pendleton groundwater conditions. The bench-scale tests also provided information needed for subsequent on-site testing to evaluate zero-valent materials performance. Two phases of on-site column testing were completed to evaluate multiple types of reactive media, usually mixed with some proportion of sand. Based on the results of the lab studies and on-site column testing, models were developed to evaluate the costs of applying this technology at scale both in situ (e.g., permeable reactive barrier) and ex situ (e.g., wellhead treatment of TCP at an affected water supply well). Results indicate that the chemical and cost effectiveness of using zero-valent zinc (ZVZ)—in particular ZN 1210—shows significant promise. Camp Pendleton is considering a pilot-scale project to treat affected groundwater using ZVZ emplaced in a permeable reactive barrier. http://www.nesdi.navy.mil/Files/NESDI_FY11_Annual_Report.pdf
Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol 138, 458-469, 2012
Long-term groundwater monitoring data for 48 retail gasoline sites were analyzed to define the characteristics of affected groundwater plumes containing benzene, MTBE, and TBA. Results were used to determine the observed range and statistical distribution of current plume lengths, plume stability conditions, constituent concentration trends, and attenuation rates, and then to estimate the remediation timeframe for this population of sites. The goal of the evaluation has been to characterize plume behavior as observed across a variety of hydrogeologic settings based upon detailed groundwater monitoring records, rather than to define the site-specific factors controlling plume behavior. The analyses indicate that MTBE plumes in groundwater underlying a majority of the UST sites that have been monitored for 5 years or more have diminished significantly in concentration over time, are comparable in length to benzene plumes, are (like benzene plumes) principally stable or shrinking in size and concentration, and are on track to achieve remedial goals as fast or faster than benzene plumes. At these same sites, TBA plumes were found to be comparable to benzene and MTBE plumes in terms of plume length; however, while most TBA plumes are also stable or shrinking, the percentage of TBA plumes that are currently stable or shrinking (68%) is less than for benzene plumes (95%) or MTBE plumes (90%), likely reflecting the temporary buildup of TBA concentrations in groundwater due to MTBE biodegradation. Overall trends for TBA concentrations in groundwater indicate that TBA is attenuating at rates comparable to benzene and MTBE and can be expected to meet applicable remediation goals in a similar timeframe as the other gasoline constituents.
Magnetic susceptibility (MS) of sediments affected by hydrocarbon-contaminated groundwater was studied at two sites, one located in Bermidji, Minnesota, and the other in Carson City, Michigan. Two cores were retrieved from the Bemidji site; one from the contaminated area and the other from the background area. Three cores were collected from the Carson site; two within the contaminated area and one from the background area. All the cores collected extended from the unsaturated zone into the saturated zone. The Bemidji site has a 0.9-m hydrocarbon smear zone due to groundwater level fluctuations. At the Carson site, the hydrocarbon smear zone is ~1 to 2 m. MS and grain-size data were collected from the cores from both sites. Results show that MS increased toward the top of the groundwater table within the contaminated area of both sites. In contrast, the MS does not show any changes around the groundwater table within the clean cores of both sites. This increase in MS possibly is due to iron-reducing microbes creating magnetite as a by-product of hydrocarbon breakdown. Based on these results, the authors conclude that the MS measurements can be used as a tool to investigate microbial activity within hydrocarbon-contaminated zones.
Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), Project ER-1459, ERDC/CERL TR-11-47, 130 pp, Dec 2011
Incorporating a biosensing element within a microfluidic platform enables rapid and reliable determinations of lead at trace levels. SERDP Project ER-1459 produced a microchip-based lead sensor that employs a lead-specific DNAzyme (also called catalytic DNA or deoxyribozyme) as a recognition element that cleaves its complementary substrate DNA strand only in the presence of cationic lead (Pb2+). Fluorescent tags on the DNAzyme translate the cleavage events to measurable optical signals proportional to Pb2+ concentration. The DNAzyme responds sensitively and selectively to Pb2+, and immobilizing the DNAzyme in the sensor permits both sensor regeneration and localization of the detection zone. The immobilized DNAzyme retains its Pb2+ detection activity in the microfluidic device and can be regenerated and reused. The particular DNAzyme shows no response to other common metal cations, and the presence of these contaminants does not interfere with the Pb-induced fluorescence signal. Incorporation of a second DNAzyme with selectivity for uranium was attempted in the same microfluidic chip sensor to demonstrate multiplexing capabilities for multiple metal analytes in a single injection, but crosstalk between the Pb DNAzyme and the uranium DNAzyme severely limited the utility of this multi-analytic chip. http://www.serdp-estcp.org/content/download/14386/167634/file/ER-1459-FR.pdf
Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, Vol 87 No 3, p 305-324, 2012
Colloidal gas aphrons (CGAs) consist of a system of spherical microbubbles with diameters mostly above 25 µm and classified as kugelschaums (ball foam). They possess some colloidal properties, can be pumped at uniform rate through pipes and channels, and have high stability due to very small size and thick surfactant shells. This review paper contains a discussion of the techniques for generating CGAs and their application to contaminant separation from water and soil matrices. Mineral separation processes by CGA flotation also are reviewed because of their relevance to contaminant removal processes. CGAs are found to function on the principles of bubble-entrained floc flotation, electrostatic and ionic interaction, diffusion of entrapped gas, and hydrophobicity of the pollutant particles. Two tables present a comparative overview of the generation technologies and effectiveness of remediation techniques. http://www.researchgate.net/publication/215541148_Application_of_Colloidal_Gas_Aphrons_for_Pollution_Remediation/file/0ff9ad1e585e716cc69add2d013b82e7.PDF
U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5032, 41 pp, 2012
In some instances, limited accumulation of reductive dechlorination daughter products can suggest that natural attenuation is inadequate for site remediation. This conclusion is justified when evidence for parent compound (PCE or TCE) degradation is lacking, but for many chloroethene-contaminated shallow aquifer systems, non-conservative losses of the parent compounds are clear even when the mass balance between parent compound attenuation and accumulation of reductive dechlorination daughter products is incomplete. Incomplete mass balance indicates a failure to account for important contaminant attenuation mechanisms and is consistent with contaminant degradation to non-diagnostic mineralization products. An ongoing technical debate over the potential for mineralization of DCE and VC to carbon dioxide in the complete absence of diatomic oxygen largely has obscured the importance of microbial DCE/VC mineralization at dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations below the current field standard (DO < 0.1 to 0.5 mg/L) for nominally anoxic conditions. Results from this study demonstrate that oxygen-based microbial mineralization of DCE and VC can be substantial under field conditions frequently characterized as anoxic. Because mischaracterization of operant contaminant biodegradation processes can lead to expensive and ineffective remedial actions, a modified framework for assessing the potential importance of oxygen during chloroethene biodegradation was developed. http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2012/5032/
Chemosphere, Vol 85 No 9, 1525-1537, 2011
Discharge of contaminated groundwater can serve as a primary and on-going source of contamination to surface water. A field investigation was conducted at the Fort Devens Superfund site in Massachusetts to define the locus of contaminant flux and support source identification for arsenic contamination in a pond abutting a closed landfill. Subsurface hydrology and groundwater chemistry were evaluated in the aquifer between the landfill and the pond during the period 2005-2009 employing a network of wells to delineate the spatial and temporal variability in subsurface conditions. These observations were compared with concurrent measures of groundwater seepage and surface water chemistry within a shallow cove that had a historical visual record of hydrous ferric oxide precipitation along with elevated arsenic concentrations in shallow sediments. Barium, presumably derived from materials disposed of in the landfill, served as an indicator of leachate-impacted groundwater discharging into the cove. Evaluation of the spatial distributions of seepage flux and the concentrations of barium, calcium, and ammonium-nitrogen indicated that the identified plume primarily discharged into the central portion of the cove. Comparison of the spatial distribution of chemical signatures at depth within the water column demonstrated that direct discharge of leachate-impacted groundwater was the source of highest arsenic concentrations. These observations demonstrate that restoration of the impacted surface water body will require control of leachate-impacted groundwater that continues to discharge into the cove. Detailed background on this characterization study is available in the 2008 report, Arsenic Fate, Transport and Stability Study: Groundwater, Surface Water, Soil and Sediment Investigation, Fort Devens Superfund Site (EPA 600-R-09-063): http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/devens/296835.pdf
International Journal of Phytoremediation, Vol 14 Supp 1, 47-60, 2012
A 4-year field study was conducted to assess the ability of landfill covers to control percolation into the waste. Performance of one conventional cover was compared to that of two evapotranspiration (ET) tree covers, using large (7 x 14 m) lined lysimeters at the Leon County Solid Waste management facility in Tallahassee, Florida. Additional unlined test sections were also constructed and monitored to compare soil water storage, soil temperature, and tree growth inside lysimeters and in unlined test sections. The unlined test sections were in direct contact with landfill gas. Surface runoff on the ET covers was a small proportion of the water balance (1% of precipitation) as compared to 13% in the conventional cover. Percolation in the ET covers averaged 17 and 24% of precipitation as compared to 33% in the conventional cover. On average, soil water storage was higher in the lined lysimeters (429 mm) compared to unlined test sections (408 mm). The average soil temperature in the lysimeters was lower than in the unlined test sections. The average tree height inside the lysimeters was not significantly lower (8.04 m for eucalyptus and 7.11 m for cottonwood) than outside (8.82 m for eucalyptus and 8.01 m for cottonwood). ET tree covers vegetated with cottonwood or eucalyptus appear to be feasible for the North Florida climate as an alternative to a conventional cover with a geosynthetic clay liner. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/15226514.2011.607869
International Journal of Phytoremediation, Vol 14 Supp 1, 61-75, 2012
To evaluate the efficacy of a cold-region evapotranspiration (ET) landfill cover against a conventional compacted clay (CCL) landfill cover, two pilot-scale covers were constructed in side-by-side basin lysimeters (20m x 10m x 2m) at a site in Anchorage, Alaska. The primary basis of comparison between the two covers was the percolation of moisture from the bottom of each lysimeter. Between 30 April 2005 and 16 May 2006, 51.5 mm of water percolated from the ET lysimeter compared to 50.6 mm for the CCL lysimeter. This difference was not considered significant at the 95% confidence level. As part of the project, electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) was utilized to measure and map soil moisture in ET lysimeter cross sections. The ERT-generated cross sections were found to predict the onset and duration of lysimeter percolation accurately; moreover, ERT-generated soil moisture values demonstrated a strong linear relationship to lysimeter percolation rates. Base on these results, ERT is proposed as a reliable tool for assessing the function of field scale ET covers in the absence of drainage measurement devices. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/15226514.2011.607870
International Journal of Phytoremediation, Vol 14 No 4, 305-319, 2012
In 2009 and 2010, core samples were taken from trees growing on a former dump site in Norway and analyzed for arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn). Concentrations in wood averaged by dry weight 30 mg/kg for Zn, 2 mg/kg for Cu, and <1 mg/kg for Cd, Cr, As, and Ni. The concentrations in wood samples from the test site were compared to those derived from a reference site. For all except one case, mean concentrations from the test site were higher than those from the reference site, but the difference was small and not always significant. Differences between tree species were usually higher than differences between reference and test site. As all the study elements occur naturally, all trees will have a natural background of these elements, and the occurrence alone does not indicate soil contamination. An interpretation of the results requires a comparison to wood samples from an uncontaminated reference site with the same tree species and similar soil conditions. This limitation makes the tree core screening method less reliable for heavy metals than for organic contaminants, such as chlorinated solvents. http://orbit.dtu.dk/services/downloadRegister/6329804/ENV2011-011.pdf
Environmental Science & Technology, Vol 46 No 6, 3319-3325, 2012
The potential of phytoscreening for plume delineation at contaminated sites has promoted interest in innovative, sensitive contaminant sampling techniques. Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) methods have been developed that offer quick, undemanding, noninvasive sampling without the use of solvents. In this study, time-weighted-average SPME (TWA-SPME) sampling was evaluated for in-plant quantification of chlorinated solvents. TWA-SPME was found to have increased sensitivity over headspace and equilibrium SPME sampling. When a polydimethylsiloxane/carboxen (PDMS/CAR) SPME fiber was exposed to different chlorinated solvents, most compounds exhibited near-linear or linear uptake over the sampling period. Smaller, less hydrophobic compounds exhibited more nonlinearity than larger, more hydrophobic molecules. Using a specifically designed in-plant sampler, field sampling was conducted at a site contaminated with chlorinated solvents. Sampling with TWA-SPME produced instrument responses ranging from 5 to over 200 times higher than headspace tree core sampling. This work demonstrates that TWA-SPME can be used for in-plant detection of a broad range of chlorinated solvents, and the methods likely can be applied to other volatile and semivolatile organic compounds.
Handbook of Phytoremediation. I.A. Golubev (ed.). Nova Science Publishers, ISBN: 978-1-61728-753-4, 137-184, 2011
The authors have pursued a variety of publicly funded phytoremediation projects since 1998. In 2005, they designed the first Italian phytoremediation field study. The trial took place within a portion of the contaminated Grado and Marano lagoon, which is on Italy's national priorities list of contaminated sites (Ministry Decree 468/2001). The site is located on the property of an Italian chemical company in Torviscosa (Udine). The trial focused on an investigation of (i) the phytoextraction potential of Sorghum bicolor and Helianthus annuus; (ii) the growth of Populus spp. and Salix spp. and trace element uptake; (iii) strategies for the enhancement of metal absorption from the soil and for increasing the translocation rate in plants; and (iv) metals mobility and availability to plants and pedofauna. These aspects were investigated under both pot and field conditions.
Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation, Vol 31 No 2, 72-79, 2011
Groundwater samples collected at sites where in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) has been deployed may contain binary mixtures of groundwater contaminants and oxidant. Commingling of the oxidant and contaminant in aqueous samples can affect the quality of the sample (i.e., the concentration of contaminant) as well as the analytical instruments used to quantify contaminant concentrations. In this study, binary mixtures comprising (1) a multi-component standard with permanganate and (2) groundwater samples collected at two ISCO field sites were preserved with ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid reacts rapidly with the permanganate and limits the reaction between permanganate and the organic compounds in the mixture; consequently, most of the compounds in the multi-component standard were within the control limit for quality assurance. Despite timely efforts to preserve the samples, however, the rapid reaction between permanganate and contaminant caused the concentration of several sensitive compounds to fall significantly below the lower control limit. Concentrations of VOCs in the field-preserved binary mixture groundwater samples were greater than in samples refrigerated in the field and preserved upon arrival at the laboratory, indicating the time-dependency and benefit of field preservation. The molar ratio of ascorbic acid required to neutralize potassium permanganate was 1.64 (mol ascorbic acid/mol KMnO4), which provided a baseline to estimate the volume of ascorbic acid stock solution and/or the weight of crystalline ascorbic acid required to neutralize permanganate. Excess ascorbic acid had no negative impact on aqueous sample quality or instruments used in the analyses.
Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vols 213-214, 474-477, 2012
A sediment microbial fuel cell (MFC) was tested to determine if electron transfer from the anaerobic zone of contaminated sediments to the overlying aerobic water could facilitate an enhanced and aerobic equivalent degradation of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH). Results indicate that voltages as high as 190 mV (2162 mW/m3) were achieved in a sediment MFC with an anode buried in sediments containing TPH concentrations at ~16,000 mg/kg. Additionally, after ~66 days, the TPH degradation rates were 2% and 24% in the open-circuit control sediment MFC and active sediment MFC, respectively. This application of MFC technology to contaminated sediments appeared to enhance natural biodegradation by nearly 12 fold. Additionally, a novel sediment MFC was designed to provide a cost-effective method of passive oxidation or indirect aerobic degradation of contaminants in an otherwise anaerobic environment. The use of a wicking air cathode in this study maintained dissolved oxygen concentrations 1 to 2 mg/L higher than submerged cathodes, demonstrating that this technology can be applied to environments beneath either aerobic or anaerobic water and in an anaerobic matrix, such as shallow lagoon, ponds, and marshes, as well as in groundwater. http://web.mit.edu/andrew3/Public/Papers/Unknown/Morris/Journal%20of%20Hazardous%20Materials_Enhanced%20Biodegradation%20of%20Hydrocarbon-Contaminated%20Sediments_Morris.pdf
Environmental Science & Technology, Vol 46 No 10, 5353-5360, 2012
Chromium stable isotope measurements can provide improved estimates of the extent of Cr(VI) reduction to less toxic Cr(III). The relationship between observed 53Cr/52Cr ratio shifts and the extent of reduction can be calibrated by determining the isotopic fractionation factor for relevant reactions. Permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) composed of elemental iron and in situ redox manipulation (ISRM) zones have been developed to remediate Cr-contaminated aquifers. In this paper, the authors determine the isotopic fractionations for dominant reductants in PRBs and reduced sediments obtained from an ISRM zone created by injecting sodium dithionite at the 100D area at DOE's Hanford facility. In all cases, significant isotopic fractionation was observed: -3.91‰ for Fe(II)-doped goethite, -2.11‰ for FeS, -2.65‰ for green rust, -2.67‰ for FeCO3, and -3.18‰ for ISRM zone sediments. These results provide a better calibration of the relationship between Cr isotope ratios and the extent of Cr(VI) reduction, and aid in interpretation of Cr isotope data from systems with PRBs.
Springer, New York. ISBN: 978-1-4614-2238-9. SERDP-ESTCP Environmental Remediation Technology, Vol. 4, 325 pp, 2012
This fourth installment in the SERDP-ESTCP remediation technology monograph series describes the principles of chemical delivery and mixing systems and their design and implementation for effective in situ remediation. Numerous case studies are provided in chapters written by experts from academia and industry. Following introductory sections on chemical and biological processes, transport and mixing, and hydrogeochemical models, the authors explore a variety of in situ technologies. In addition to discussions of chemical oxidation and flushing technologies, the text covers subsurface reactors, recirculation systems, permeable reactive barriers, gas delivery via sparging, and intrinsic remediation in natural-gradient systems. This text is intended to serve as a reference for decision makers, practicing engineers, and hydrogeologists who select, design, and operate remedial systems, as well as researchers seeking to improve the current state of the science and technology. The publisher has posted the table of contents and sample pages from the book at http://www.springer.com/environment/environmental+management/book/978-1-4614-2238-9
American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA. ISBN: 978-0-7844-1218-3, 294 pp, 2012
Chelating agents (or chelants) refer to ligands that can occupy multiple positions in the inner coordination sphere of the central metal ion, leading to the formation of multidentate metal-chelant complexes (or chelates). The use of chelating agents for enhancing soil remediation has received extensive attention over the last two decades, with significant attention to the effects of chelating agents on metal solubility, mobility, and bioavailability in soil, as well as degradability and plant uptake of metal-chelant complexes in the natural environment. Chelating agents can be used to enhance metal extraction from contaminated soil/sediment and facilitate metal mobility in the subsurface. This book focuses on the engineering applications of chelating agents for soil washing, soil flushing, phytoremediation, and electrokinetic remediation. Readers are introduced to practical considerations in the design and implementation of chelant-enhanced remediation technologies. The text comprises two sections. Section 1 focuses on the application of chelating agents for ex situ soil washing processes by reviewing the design and implementation of traditional soil washing and chelant-enhanced washing and discussing the economic and societal considerations associated with soil washing technology. Section 2 discusses the application of chelating agents for in situ soil remediation, beginning with an overview of chemically enhanced soil flushing. It discusses the latest findings of metal removal by complexation with different chemical reagents. This section also examines the roles of iron, aluminum, and manganese hydroxides in chelant-enhanced phytoextraction and provides an extensive review of the use of chelating agents in electrokinetic remediation. This book contains a compilation of engineering applications and recent research findings for different chelating agent-enhanced remediation technologies.
Nova Science Publishers, ISBN: 978-1-61728-753-4, 815 pp, 2011
The use of green plants and their associated microbiota, soil amendments, and agronomic techniques to remove, contain, or render harmless environmental contaminants is an emerging technology that offers a potentially cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to the physical methods currently practiced for the cleanup of contaminated soil, sediment, groundwater, and sludge. This handbook presents work from around the globe in the study of phytoremediation. It highlights the application of phytoremediation technologies for water decontamination from persistent organic pollutants; phytoremediation of uranium-contaminated soils; phytoremediation using constructed mangrove wetlands; phytoextraction capability of maize and sunflowers; and phytoremediation processes occurring in salt marshes. See the table of contents and chapter abstracts (plus several free chapters in full text) at https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=12714
International Journal of Phytoremediation, Vol 14 No 1, 1-25, 2012
Evapotranspiration (ET) cover systems are being used increasingly at municipal solid waste landfills, hazardous waste landfills, industrial monofills, and mine sites. Conventional cover systems use materials with low hydraulic permeability (barrier layers) to minimize the downward migration of water from the surface to the waste (percolation), whereas ET cover systems use water-balance components to minimize percolation. ET cover systems rely on soil to capture and store precipitation until it is either transpired through vegetation or evaporated from the soil surface. Compared to conventional membrane or compacted clay cover systems, ET cover systems are expected to cost less to construct. They often are aesthetically pleasing because they employ naturalized vegetation and require less maintenance (e.g., mowing) once the vegetative system is established. While most containment strategies have been based on the dry tomb concept of keeping waste dry, adding or allowing moisture to help decompose organic waste is the plan at some sites. ET covers may work well in places where complete exclusion of precipitation is not needed. The U.S. EPA Alternative Cover Assessment Program (ACAP), DOE, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and other organizations have researched ET cover design and efficacy. An on-line database has been developed with information about specific projects using ET covers: www.clu-in.org/products/altcovers/
American Society for Microbiology (ASM), Washington, DC. 16 pp, 2011
Is it true that microbes cleaned up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Can bacteria really "eat" oil, and if so, how? To help clear up the confusion, the American Academy of Microbiology brought together the nation's leading experts to consider and answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding microbes and oil spills. This mini-colloquium, the first in a new series of reports designed to provide a rapid response to emerging issues, took place at ASM Headquarters in Washington, DC, on October 28, 2010. http://academy.asm.org/index.php/colloquium-program/faq-series/291-faq-microbes-and-oil-spills
U.S. EPA and DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed and launched new tools designed to test underutilized sites and contaminated land for solar and wind energy potential. The tools give local communities and landowners ways to evaluate sites for renewable energy potential without the need for technical expertise. The alternative energy 'decision trees' leverage NREL's knowledge of renewable energy technologies and EPA's experience in returning contaminated lands to productive use. EPA estimates that nationwide there are approximately 490,000 sites and almost 15 million acres of potentially contaminated properties. The City of Richmond, California, is serving as a pilot community for development of the tools. Positioning renewable energy on sites can increase economic value of the properties, provide a sustainable land reuse option, create local green jobs, and provide clean energy for use on site or for the utility grid. Using the decision trees, state and local governments, site owners, and community members can help identify the most desirable sites for solar or wind installations from both a logistical and economic standpoint. The tools can be used to evaluate individual or multiple sites, such as brownfields, Superfund, and other hazardous waste sites; abandoned parcels; landfills; parking lots; and commercial or industrial roofs, depending on the technology. In addition to opportunities in cities, thousands of potentially contaminated acres in less populated areas across the country could be put to beneficial reuse with renewable energy. The tools and a podcast by the Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response on the solar and wind decision trees are available on EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/renewableenergyland
Some sites with environmental issues will undergo an environmental assessment and inevitably require little or no cleanup, while others will require minimal to substantial cleanup before the sites can be returned to safe and productive reuse. Choosing renewable energy generation for a site's reuse often allows renewable energy development activities and facility operations to occur prior to and even during cleanup activities. This guide is intended for regulatory cleanup project managers, communities, property owners, developers, and others with an interest in reusing potentially contaminated sites for renewable energy production. The guide provides tools to help interested parties determine the overall feasibility of siting renewable energy production and outlines some key considerations for integrating renewable energy development during all phases of typical cleanup processes (e.g., site assessment, planning and design, and cleanup implementation) in EPA's Superfund, Brownfields, and RCRA programs. http://www.epa.gov/renewableenergyland/docs/handbook_siting_repowering_projects.pdf
U.S. EPA awarded more than $1 million in grants to 15 university and college teams from across the country who shared their innovative environmental solutions in the 8th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, DC. EPA's People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) award competition, which was held at the expo, featured more than 300 college innovators showcasing their sustainable projects designed to protect the environment, encourage economic growth, and use natural resources more efficiently. Each P3 award-winning team will receive a grant of up to $90,000 to develop of the design further, apply it to real-world use, or move it to the marketplace. Previous P3 award winners have started successful businesses and are marketing their technologies. Several of this year's award winners addressed solutions for contaminated media:
- Appalachian State University for developing an artificial wetland suitable for recycling grey water from small businesses for immediate reuse.
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for designing a foldable solar-power water purification system that can fit into a backpack for easy transport and use after a disaster affecting drinking water supply.
- Clarkson University for studying the feasibility of using waste heat and leachate from a solid waste management facility for energy to produce biodiesel from algae.
- Drexel University for designing a pilot-scale reactor for a local landfill that uses algae to produce biofuels from landfill leachate and gas.
- Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville for evaluating the use of selenium-polluted vegetation waste harvested from phytoremediation sites to produce selenium-enriched edible mushrooms.
- University of Texas at Austin for designing, constructing, and testing vermicomposting (composting with worms) bins to reduce water contamination from organic waste in the Dominican Republic.
EPA 908-R-11-003, 35 pp, Aug 2011
The 17 periodic elements receiving rare earth designation encompass nearly all electronic, clean energy, and military technologies due to their unique physical and chemical properties. Despite world-wide usage of these elements, China succeeded in monopolizing the rare earth element industry two decades ago. Use of these elements has risen exponentially, while China has slashed rare earth element exports, driving prices to record highs. The United States government has been reviewing the risks associated with rare earth element supply disruption due to the elements' importance in modern technologies vital to economic growth and national defense, prompting DOE to identify "key" and "critical" materials. Many of the key and critical materials are rare earth elements, and DOE has developed a strategic plan to achieve a globally diverse supply of these materials. The plan includes developing the United State's rare earth element resources. Such a strategic plan, coupled with record high prices, has implications for EPA Region 8, which is relatively enriched in economic occurrences of rare earth element minerals. Exploration activities and preliminary mining procedures indicate the real possibility of rare earth element mining within Region 8 at the Bear Lodge property of northeastern Wyoming within five years. Oversight of rare earth element production represents new challenges for government agencies, including Region 8, considering the lack of experience in dealing with these operations. If best management practices are not used and/or operations are not carefully monitored, rare earth element production may put human health and the environment at risk. This comprehensive report strives to inform readers of pertinent background information surrounding the rare earth element market, active exploration and deposits within Region 8, mining and refining processes, possible contaminants, and the potential risks to human health and the environment. http://www.epa.gov/region8/mining/ReportOnRareEarthElements.pdf
EPA 600-R-11-018, 184 pp, Feb 2012
The 2011 workshop on chemical-biological-radiological (CBR) disposal was held on June 14-15, 2011, in Washington, DC, to address technical issues to consider when designing, constructing, and operating new landfill facilities for disposal of CBR wastes in an emergency scenario. The use of existing landfill space for this purpose and other waste management strategies (e.g., incineration) were outside the scope of the workshop discussions. This report captures the main points of the scheduled presentations and summarizes the issues and discussions among the workshop participants. http://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_file_download.cfm?p_download_id=505182
EPA 600-S-06-018ABB, 2 pp, Jan 2012
Handling, transporting, treating, and disposing of large volumes of waste generated by natural disasters; chemical, biological, or radiological incidents; and animal disease outbreaks presents unique challenges. Effective and timely management of these potentially contaminated materials is critical for protecting and restoring communities and the environment. Characterization of contamination in waste and debris and access to reliable information on their treatment and disposal can reduce cleanup costs and shorten remediation timelines. EPA, with the Department of Homeland Security, is supporting the National Response Framework, which guides response to domestic incidents. The I-WASTE tool has been developed by EPA's Homeland Security Research Program to address waste management information gaps. I-WASTE provides information on types and volumes of waste materials and potential contaminants generated during an incident, location and contact information for potential treatment/disposal facilities, and health and safety information for workers and citizens affected by the removal, transport, treatment, and disposal of contaminated waste and debris. EPA's I-WASTE Tool is available at http://www2.ergweb.com/bdrtool/login.asp
The Acting Under Secretary of Defense signed the new DERP Manual on March 9, 2012. The new manual is a significant update of guidance established in 2001, and it cancels the DoD DERP Management Guidance dated September 2001. In addition to implementing DoD Directive 4715.1E and DoD Instruction 4715.7, the DERP Manual is designed to align the Department's environmental restoration activities with statutory requirements, increase transparency of cleanup efforts, and provide installation commanders greater flexibility and authority to consider mission requirements when sequencing cleanup work. http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/471520m.pdf
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