Two-dimensional modelling of benzene transport and biodegradation in a laboratory-scale aquifer

N. C. Choi, J. W. Choi, S. B. Kim, S. J. Park, D. J. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study biodegradation of aqueous benzene during transport in a laboratory-scale aquifer model was investigated by conducting a 2-D plume test and numerical modelling. Benzene biodegradation and transport was simulated with the 2-D numerical model developed for solute transport coupled with a Haldane-Andrews type function for inclusion of an inhibition constant which is effective for high concentrations. Experimental data revealed that in the early stages the benzene plume showed a rather clear shape but lost its shape with increased travel time. The mass recoveries of benzene at 9, 16, and 22 h were 37, 13 and 8%, respectively, showing that a significant mass reduction of aqueous benzene occurred in the model aquifer. The major processes responsible for the mass reduction were biodegradation and irreversible sorption. The modelling results also indicated that the simulation based on the microbial parameters from the batch experiments slightly overestimated the mass reduction of benzene during transport. The sensitivity analysis demonstrated that the benzene plume was sensitive to the maximum specific growth rate and slightly sensitive to the half-saturation constant of benzene but almost insensitive to the Haldane inhibition constant. The insensitivity to the Haldane inhibition constant was due to the rapid decline of the benzene peak concentration by natural attenuation such as hydrodynamic dispersion and irreversible sorption. An analysis of the model simulation also indicated that the maximum specific growth rate was the key parameter controlling the plume behaviour, but its impact on the plume was affected by competing parameter such as the irreversible sorption rate coefficient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-62
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Technology
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan

Keywords

  • Benzene
  • Biodegradation
  • Haldane kinetics
  • Transport
  • Two-dimensional modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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