In-situ Remediation of Sulfate Contamination
Alex Krichevsky, PhD, MBA
Director of R&D
Phoenix Environmental Research
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Who should attend: This presentation will be of particular interest to scientists and engineers working on the remediation of coal combustion residuals (CCR) where elevated sulfates in soil and groundwater may be a concern. Those that can benefit from this talk include project managers, hydrogeologists, geochemists, geologists, and engineers.
Webinar Overview: Elevated levels of sulfates in soil and groundwater can pose an environmental challenge. Many locations in the world have elevated sulfates concentration as a result of human activity or natural processes, such as presence of certain naturally occurring minerals and soil types. While at high concentrations sulfates are not toxic per se, they can cause unappealing aesthetic effects in drinking water as well as to induce laxative effects in humans and animals. In this work we demonstrate an environmentally friendly technology for remediation of sulfate contamination from soil and groundwater using food-grade organic materials and naturally occurring sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB). Our results demonstrate essential elimination of sulfates from contaminated samples using low molecular weight organic compounds. In one set of experiments, a combination of sodium lactate and sodium acetate caused reduction of >90% in sulfates concentrations in two month, with final recorded concentration being below naturally occurring sulfate levels. In another experiment, we used a combination of ethanol and butanol to treat contaminated soil and groundwater, resulting in sulfate levels reductions >98% within two months. In addition, a highly unexpected observation has been made. While widely accepted view of sulfate remediation suggests that it should decrease the concentration of soluble metal, our results demonstrated a surprising opposite effect where sulfate remediation has lead to increases in soluble metals concentrations. We further demonstrate a successful use of oxidizers to reduce concentrations of these metals to their original background levels.
About our Presenter: Dr. Alex Krichevsky is a biotechnology professional, who several years ago refocused his interests in the field of environmental remediation. His professional work has been featured in numerous mainstream media outlets in the United States including Bloomberg Businessweek, NBC News, Discover magazine, the Huffington Post and Slate magazine, as well as in Germany, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and China.