Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. David Freedman

Committee Member

Dr. Kevin Finneran

Committee Member

Dr. Brian Powell


Current biological strategies for remediating trichloroethylene (TCE) in low pH aquifers (i.e., pH14C-TCE assay was developed to determine pseudo first-order rate constants for the degradation of TCE in microcosms containing soil and groundwater from the Boeing Michigan Aeronautical Research Center (BOMARC) superfund site, where the pH ranges from 4.1 to 4.9. The 14C-TCE assay was also adapted to calculate soil-normalized rate constants for data from this site, as well as data that Szwast21 collected from the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC). In addition to natural attenuation, biostimulation through amendments of methane and nutrients were also assessed. This treatment option produced the highest net first-order rate constants ranged from 0.104 to 0.243 yr-1, converting to half-lives of 3 to 7 yr. This confirmed that methanotrophic activity can be an important contributor to aerobic cometabolism of TCE under low pH conditions whenever the microbial community at the site is biostimulated through these amendments.



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