Multidisciplinary Remediation: An Analysis of Chlorinated Metabolites in Groundwater Contaminated by Pentachlorophenol Following 15 Years of Air/Biosparging, Phytoremediation, and In-Situ Chemical Oxidation Protocols

Author(s): Stratton, J.; Stokes, C.

Pentachlorophenol (PCP, Penta) got its foothold as a wood preservative in the United States because it extends the lifetime of wood products up to 40 years, even in adverse conditions. It is also an effective herbicide and biocide. Because of this effective nature against pests, it was applied as a protectant in many areas of agriculture and manufacturing. The site utilized in this study has been a receiver of penta wastewater from a wood product treating facility. To comply with mandated cleanup, injection wells for air injection were installed in 2000. These were used until 2011, when they upgraded the airsparging system and included enhanced biosparging. Shortly after this, 400 hybrid poplar and cottonwood trees were planted in the area for an added aspect of phytoremediation. The latest remediation protocol for the site utilizes in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) with dilute hydrogen peroxide, started in 2015. A set of nine wells were sampled monthly following ISCO treatment. Metabolites were extracted from water samples using a novel modified liquid microextraction protocol, followed by analysis on an Agilent GC 6890 to determine the presence of chlorinated compounds resulting from the degradation of penta (ongoing through April 2016). We expect to determine the concentration of chlorinated metabolites, analyze the spatial distribution of these compounds across the site, and make recommendations as to the future of remediation treatments for this location.

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