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Transformation of Trichloroethylene to Predominantly Non-Regulated Products under Stimulated Sulfate Reducing Conditions



Anaerobic microcosms containing sediment and water were amended to generate a range of mass loadings of FeS. Microcosms were then spiked with trichloroethylene (TCE) and the concentration of TCE and possible volatile reaction products monitored over time. The lowest yields of TCE, as well as the lowest yields of reaction products regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (i.e., dichloroethylene isomers and vinyl chloride), were observed at FeS mass loadings at or above 20 g/L. Sixty eight days after spiking with TCE, selected microcosms were amended with sulfate and lactate, or sulfate, Fe(II), and lactate, and the effect of these amendments on TCE transformation and yield of regulated products was compared to microcosms that did not receive any amendments. Addition of sulfate, Fe(II), and lactate led to the greatest improvement on TCE depletion rates and the lowest yields of regulated reaction products compared with addition of sulfate and lactate, or no amendments. Analysis of kinetic modeling suggests that microbial and abiotic processes acted in concert to promote TCE transformation to a relatively low yield of regulated products in microbially active microcosms that contained high mass loadings of FeS.