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Title (Primary) Applicability of stable isotope fractionation analysis for the characterization of benzene biodegradation in a BTEX-contaminated aquifer
Author Fischer, A.; Theuerkorn, K.; Stelzer, N.; Gehre, M.; Thullner, M.; Richnow, H.H.;
Journal Environmental Science & Technology
Year 2007
Department ISOBIO; UMB;
Volume 41
Issue 10
Language englisch;
Abstract In recent years the analysis of stable isotope fractionation has increasingly been used for characterizing and quantifying biodegradation of contaminants in aquifers. The correlation of carbon and hydrogen isotope signatures of benzene in a BTEX-contaminated aquifer located in the area of a former hydrogenation plant gave indications that biodegradation mainly occurred under anoxic conditions. This finding was consistent with the investigation of hydrogeochemical conditions within the aquifer. Furthermore, the biodegradation of benzene was calculated by changes in carbon isotope signatures using the Rayleigh-equation-streamline approach. Since contaminant concentrations can be also affected by nonisotope-fractionating abiotic processes such as dilution, volatilization, or irreversible sorption to the aquifer matrix, the Rayleigh-equation-streamline approach was adjusted for scenarios assuming that biodegradation and abiotic processes occur either consecutively or simultaneously along a groundwater flow path between contaminant source and sampling well. The results of the scenarios differed significantly, indicating that an abiotic process (typically dilution) causes a decrease in benzene concentration within the investigated aquifer transect. This comparison of results derived from the different scenarios can help to identify whether biodegradation is the predominant process for decrease in contaminant concentration. However, for a proper quantification of biodegradation, the temporal sequence between biodegradation and dilution needs to be known. The uncertainty associated with the quantification of pollutant biodegradation by the Rayleigh-equation-streamline approach increases when nonisotope-fractionating abiotic processes cause a significant decrease in contaminant concentrations.
ID 1758
Persistent UFZ Identifier https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=1758
Fischer, A., Theuerkorn, K., Stelzer, N., Gehre, M., Thullner, M., Richnow, H.H. (2007):
Applicability of stable isotope fractionation analysis for the characterization of benzene biodegradation in a BTEX-contaminated aquifer
Environ. Sci. Technol. 41 (10), 3689 - 3696