RPI has been checking out the potential synergy between abiotic and biotic degradation of a big mix of contaminants on an activated charcoal platform. Products based on activated carbon have been offered by RPI for over fourteen years, though there has been a recent interest in “Carbon Based Injectates” with many people and organizations offering their opinions. RPI’s laboratory has been evaluating various blends of microorganisms said to degrade chlorinated solvents, hydrocarbons, and numerous supplements and substrates to evaluate performance of its BOS 100® when coupled with Enhanced Reductive Dechlorination (ERD) for treatment of sites heavily impacted by these contaminants.
CAT100™ was developed with the goal of identifying a combination of proven technologies that could work together in a way allowing a single treatment to achieve the cleanup levels, resulting in a big reduction in time, cost, and the field effort needed.
Rather than prepare reagent water solutions of various mixtures of contaminants, groundwater from real-world sites were used. CAT100™ is performing beyond our expectations.
Because of the wide-ranging mix of contaminants, no one set of organisms can address them. Conventional approaches to such a site would include a blend of microorganisms designed to degrade the chlorinated compounds (along with a substrate such as lactate) and a blend to degrade the aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons.
In this study we come to four conclusions.
Addition of substrate electron donor materials, and particularly complex carbohydrates (such as starch) or peptide containing materials along with consortia specifically designed to degrade these complex substrates significantly improves performance and rates of degradation increase across the board.
There is a significant synergy between metallic iron impregnated activated carbon and ERD that greatly enhances the overall performance beyond what can be achieved with either technology alone.
The inclusion of ERD along with BOS 100® creates a condition whereby degradation of substrate donor materials acts like an electron pump supplying electrons to the activated carbon.
It appears that the metallic iron is acting in a true catalytic fashion promoting degradation of chlorinated contaminants. In other words, the iron promotes the degradation but is not depleted in the process.