An integrated approach combining classic and molecular microbiological methods, "in vitro" bioremediation assays and groundwater numerical modeling, has been established to identify optimized solutions for remediating aquifers contaminated with organic pollutants. Bacteria have been isolated from an aquifer contaminated with toluene and methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), selected for their growth with contaminants as a sole carbon source and identified through 16S rDNA partial sequencing. Successive biodegradation laboratory tests have been performed to determine which chemical conditions were more appropriate for the isolated bacteria to more efficiently oxidize toluene and MTBE. A groundwater model was created using FEFLOW code first to determine the movement of the plume front and second to simulate the impact of the biodegradation processes along the groundwater flow directions based on the bioremediation rates obtained in the laboratory. The results show that this innovative and interdisciplinary model can be used to assist in developing monitoring and remediation plans for cleaning up complex contaminated groundwater sites. This approach successfully combines the identification of the optimum biogeochemical conditions for bacterial biodegradation to occur with the predictability of the development of the process over time, ensuring decisive support in the management of contaminated sites.
Coupling Flow Analysis With Geochemical and Microbiological Analyses to Assess the Bioremediation Feasibility of a Contaminated Aquifer / Gigliuto, Andrea; Stopelli, Emiliano; Sanangelantoni, Anna Maria; Malcevschi, Alessio. - In: REMEDIATION. - ISSN 1051-5658. - 26:3(2016), pp. 109-129. [10.1002/rem.21472]
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