Column experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of pore velocity on the extent of biodegradation of cis-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) during transport in porous media. Columns were filled with homogeneous glass beads and inoculated with a culture capable of complete dechlorination of tetrachloroethene to ethene. A constant concentration of cis-DCE was maintained in the columns' influent. Three different pore velocities were tested in duplicate, subjecting each column to a constant velocity. At high flow velocity, degradation of cis-DCE to ethene was nearly complete within the residence time of the columns. However, at medium and low flow velocities, incomplete dechlorination was observed. After 7 weeks, DNA was harvested from the columns to determine differences in the microbial populations. Results suggest that Dehalococcoides sp. were present in higher quantities in the high-velocity columns, consistent with the observed dechlorination. These results suggest that, at contaminated groundwater sites, heterogeneity of groundwater velocity may be one factor that contributes to heterogeneous distribution of biological activity.
- Chlorinated Solvents
- Vinyl Chloride