Biosurfactant-enhanced nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL) removal and bacterial transport in porous media
AuthorBai, Guiyun, 1964-
AdvisorMiller, Raina M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe well documented ineffectiveness of traditional pump-and-treat technology on the cleanup of non aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) contaminated sites has incurred an intensive research activities in improving the efficiency of NAPL removal from subsurface. Surfactant enhanced subsurface remediation has been proposed as one such option. In this dissertation, a series laboratory experiments were conducted to investigate the potential application of a microbially produced surfactant (biosurfactant) on NAPL removal and the effect on bacteria transport. Monorhamnolipid biosurfactant, produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027, was used in all the studies. Hexadecane was used as model NAPL to represent petroleum based products which are common NAPLs detected in contaminated sites. Results showed that rhamnolipid biosurfactant is effective in removing residual hexadecane from sandy soil. In the surfactant concentration tested in this study (40 to 1500 mg/L), mobilization of hexadecane is the main mechanism of the removal. In addition to displacement of hexadecane droplets from subsurface porous matrixes, dispersion or emulsification of hexadecane into surfactant solution also played an important role in hexadecane removal. The performance of this anionic rhamnolipid surfactant is greatly affected by the addition of electrolytes and the change of pH. Addition of Na⁺ and Mg²⁺ can significantly increase the solubilization capacity of rhamnolipid and reduce the interfacial tension between hexadecane and surfactant solution, while addition of Ca²⁺ has a competing effects of enhanced solubilization and Ca²⁺ induced rhamnolipid precipitation. Control of ionic strength and pH can be used to optimize surfactant systems to enhance the NAPL removal depending on the nature of NAPL (LNAPL or DNAPL). Addition of rhamnolipid can also enhance the transport of three bacterial cells with varying hydrophobicity, P. aeruginosa ATCC 9027, 27853, and 15442, by decreasing cell adsorption. This is because the adsorption of surfactant to the porous medium surface increases the surface negative charge density, hence the adsorption of bacteria to the surface is reduced. No significant influence of rhamnolipid on the bacteria surface properties is observed. The measured bacteria breakthrough curves were simulated by an advection-dispersion transport model incorporating two domain reversible sorption (instantaneous and rate-limited) and with two first order sink terms for irreversible sorption. Model simulation suggests that rhamnolipid mainly affects the irreversible sorption of cells.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Soil, Water and Environmental Science