David Caterina and Thibaut Masy. Congratulations for your upcoming publication in Journal of Contaminant Hydrology entitled “Electrical Resistivity Tomography to monitor enhanced biodegradation of hydrocarbons with Rhodococcus erythropolis T902.1 at a pilot scale”. You can find more of David’s work here.
Petroleum hydrocarbons (HC) represent the most widespread contaminants and in-situ bioremediation remains a competitive treatment in terms of cost and environmental concerns. However, the efficiency of such a technique (by biostimulation or bioaugmentation) strongly depends on the environment affected and is still difficult to predict a priori. In order to overcome these uncertainties, Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) appears as a valuable non-invasive tool to detect soil heterogeneities and to monitor biodegradation. The main objective of this study was to isolate an electrical signal linked to an enhanced bacterial activity with ERT, in an aged HC-contaminated clayey loam soil. To achieve this, a pilot tank was built to mimic field conditions. Compared to a first insufficient biostimulation phase, bioaugmentation with Rhodococcus erythropolis T902.1 led to a HC depletion of almost 80% (6900 to 1600 ppm) in 3 months in the center of the contaminated zone, where pollutants were less bioavailable. In the meantime, lithological heterogeneities and microbial activities (growth and biosurfactant production) were successively discriminated by ERT images. In the future, this cost-effective technique should be more and more transferred to the field in order to monitor biodegradation processes and assist in selecting the most appropriate remediation technique.
Here is a small teeaser: