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Enhanced Biodegradation of Hydrocarbon Contaminants Using Photocatalytic Pretreatment
In situ Aeration and Aerobic Remediation
  • Chad E. Green
  • Anita Stansberry
  • Jeff Sczechowski
  • Yarrow Nelson, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
Publication Date
Photocatalysis was investigated as a pretreatment for hydrocarbon groundwater contamination at an abandoned oil field in Guadalupe, CA. A laboratory photoreactor, with a UV fluorescent lamp submerged in a suspension of TiO2 catalyst particles, was used to determine oxidation rates and the increase in biodegradability of the hydrocarbon mixture. Chemical oxidation demand (COD) and 5-day biological oxygen demand (BOD5) were measured as a function of exposure time using standard methods. During eight-hour photoreactor runs in a nitrogen atmosphere, the COD of diluent solutions in de-ionized water and diluent solutions in simulated groundwater both decreased by approximately 50%, while the BOD5 increased by a factor of 2 to 3. The biodegradability quotient, BOD5/COD, increased from initial values of between 0.03 and 0.06 up to final values of between 0.27 and 0.29 during the eight-hour photoreactor runs. Little or no decrease in the chemical oxygen demand was observed in a control with no UV light and a control with no TiO2, confirming the role of photocatalysis in these experiments. Based on the experimental oxidation and biodegradation kinetics, design parameters for ex-situ and in-situ remediation applications are presented.
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Citation Information
Chad E. Green, Anita Stansberry, Jeff Sczechowski and Yarrow Nelson. "Enhanced Biodegradation of Hydrocarbon Contaminants Using Photocatalytic Pretreatment" In situ Aeration and Aerobic Remediation Vol. 6 Iss. 10 (2001) p. 311 - 318
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