Anaerobic degradation is the dominant driving force in natural attenuation of petroleum contamination in the subsurface. The contribution to natural attenuation by electron acceptors other than oxygen, such as nitrate, iron III, manganese IV, sulfate, and even carbon dioxide, has been the subject of considerable research in recent years. The addition of these alternative electron acceptors has been shown to have many potential advantages over the traditional approach of attempting to add dissolved oxygen to the plume. Kolhatkar et al. (2000), Wiedemeier et al. (1999), and Wilson et al. (2002) have shown that of these natural anaerobic processes, sulfate reduction accounts for most of the degradation. Cuthbertson et al. (2006) presented case studies that demonstrated the benefits of using Magnesium Sulfate solution to stimulate the biodegradation of petroleum contaminants in groundwater under field conditions at various sites. Following a successful on site treatability study in 2006, full scale groundwater remediation using Delta’s Patented Sulfate Enhanced Biodegradation (SEB) process was initiated in 2006 at a large former service station and bulk storage facility in Upstate New York. Applications of a concentrated solution of magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salt) in water were made in 2006 and 2007. The applications were highly successful for remediation of MTBE, as well as, other petroleum constituents. The results obtained from this site represent the first field scale demonstration of MTBE remediation utilizing this technique.
Cuthbertson, James and Schumacher, Mark
"Full Scale Implementation Of Sulfate Enhanced Biodegradation To Remediate Petroleum Impacted Groundwater,"
Proceedings of the Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water and Energy:
Vol. 14, Article 15.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/soilsproceedings/vol14/iss1/15