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Natural attenuation of chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOC's) occurs as ground water discharges from a sand aquifer to a freshwater wetland at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Field and laboratory results indicate that biotransformation in the anaerobic wetland sediments is an important attenuation process. Relatively high concentrations of the parent compounds trichloroethylene (TCE) and 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane (PCA) and low or undetectable concentrations of daughter products were measured in the aquifer. In contrast, relatively high concentrations of the daughter products cis- and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene (12DCE); vinyl chloride (VC); 1,1,2-trichloroethane (112TCA); and 1,2-dichloroethane (12DCA) were measured in ground water in the wetland sediments, although total VOC concentrations decreased upward from about 1 mu mol/L (micromoles per liter) at the base of the wetland sediments to less than 0.2 near the surface. Microcosm experiments showed that 12DCE and VC are produced from anaerobic degradation of both TCE and PCA; PCA degradation also produced 112TCA and 12DCA.
Additional Publication Details
Natural attenuation of chlorinated hydrocarbons in a freshwater wetland