Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1021/es052466t
Title (Primary) A multitracer test proving the reliability of rayleigh equation-based approach for assessing biodegradation in a BTEX contaminated aquifer
Author Fischer, A.; Bauer, J.; Meckenstock, R.U.; Stichler, W.; Griebler, C.; Maloszewski, P.; Kästner, M.; Richnow, H.H.
Source Titel Environmental Science & Technology
Year 2006
Department ISOBIO; UBT
Volume 40
Issue 13
Page From 4245
Page To 4252
Language englisch
Abstract Compound-specific stable isotope analysis (CSIA) is one of the most important methods for assessing biodegradation activities in contaminated aquifers. Although the concept is straightforward, the proof that the method cannot be only used for a qualitative analysis but also to quantify biodegradation in the subsurface was missing. We therefore performed a multitracer test in the field with ring-deuterated (d(5)) and completely (d(8)) deuterium-labeled toluene isotopologues (400 g) as reactive tracers as well as bromide as a conservative tracer. The compounds were injected into the anoxic zone of a BTEX plume located down-gradient of the contaminant source. Over a period of 4.5 months the tracer concentrations were analyzed at two control planes located 24 and 35 m downgradient of the injection well. Deuterium-labeled benzylsuccinate was found in the aquifer, indicating the anaerobic biodegradation of deuterated toluene via the benzylsuccinate synthase pathway. Three independent methods were applied to quantify biodegradation of deuterated toluene. First, fractionation of toluene-d(8) and toluene-d(5) using the Rayleigh equation and an appropriate laboratory-derived isotope fractionation factor was used for the calculation of the microbial decomposition of deuterated toluene isotopologues (CSIA-method). Second, the biodegradation was quantified by the changes of the concentrations of deuterated toluene relative to bromide. Both methods gave similar results, implying that the CSIA-method is a reliable tool to quantify biodegradation in contaminated aquifers. The results of both methods yielded a biodegradation of deuterated toluene isotopologues of approximately 23-29% for the first and 44-51% for the second control plane. Third, the mineralization of deuterated toluene isotopologues was verified by determination of the enrichment of deuterium in the groundwater. This method indicated that parts of deuterium were assimilated into the biomass of toluene degrading microorganisms
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Fischer, A., Bauer, J., Meckenstock, R.U., Stichler, W., Griebler, C., Maloszewski, P., Kästner, M., Richnow, H.H. (2006):
A multitracer test proving the reliability of rayleigh equation-based approach for assessing biodegradation in a BTEX contaminated aquifer
Environ. Sci. Technol. 40 (13), 4245 - 4252 10.1021/es052466t