Enhanced dissolution of trichloroethene: Effect of carbohydrate addition and fermentation processes

D. K. Nelson, Paige J Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Remediation of source areas is challenging because lingering contaminants are often present as nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL) and sorbed mass, and therefore difficult to remove via biodegradation or other commonly used remedial methods. Experimental results indicate that enhanced dissolution of a model NAPL, trichloroethene (TCE), can occur through the addition and/or subsequent fermentation of a dilute molasses solution. Enhanced mass transfer occurs by two mechanisms, depending upon whether the molasses solution is fresh or has fermented. The addition of fresh molasses worked to increase TCE solubility (>200%), thereby increasing mass transfer from the NAPL phase. Mixing TCE NAPL with a fermented molasses solution, however, increased TCE mass flux via the formation of a NAPL/aqueous phase emulsion. In addition, fermented liquid may have also decreased the soil partitioning coefficient (Kd) of TCE, indicating that enhanced transfer of sorbed mass to the aqueous phase could also occur in the presence of fermented molasses. These results provide guidance on how remedial systems may be optimized to increase NAPL and sorbed-mass dissolution and are therefore important, particularly when bioremediation is used to polish residual source zones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)861-868
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 28 2009


  • Biological treatment
  • Groundwater pollution
  • Nonaqueous phase liquids
  • Remedial action


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