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Proceedings Paper

Effective sensing approach for assessment and monitoring of in-situ biodegradation in a subsurface environment
Author(s): Dong X. Li
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Paper Abstract

Rapid assessment and monitoring of biological conditions in a subsurface environment is becoming more and more important as bioremediation approaches become widely used in environmental cleanup. Remediation monitoring is also more challenging for in-situ remedial approaches, such as bioventing, biosparging, or passive bioremediation, where conventional 'inlet' and 'outlet' monitoring can no longer be applied. A sensing approach using subsurface chemical sensors offers a cost- effective alternative for remediation monitoring. Additional benefits of deploying subsurface sensors include continuous and unattended measurement with minimum disturbance to the subsurface condition. In a series of field studies, an electrochemical oxygen sensor, a non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) carbon dioxide sensor, and two hydrocarbons sensors were employed for monitoring in-situ bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils. Biodegradation rates were effectively measured through an in-situ respiration measurement using subsurface oxygen and carbon dioxide sensors. The high sensitivity of the carbon dioxide sensor to small change in the concentration enables rapid respiration measurements. Subsurface hydrocarbon sensors offer a means to monitor the progress of remediation and the migration of contaminant vapors during the remediation. The chemical sensors tested are clearly cost effective for remediation monitoring. The strengths of oxygen and carbon dioxide sensors are complimentary to each other. Strengths and limitations of different hydrocarbon sensors were also noted. Balancing cost and performance of sensors is crucial for environmental remediation application.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 February 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3534, Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Technologies, (10 February 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.339024
Show Author Affiliations
Dong X. Li, Unocal Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3534:
Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Technologies
Tuan Vo-Dinh; Robert L. Spellicy, Editor(s)

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