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Title: Bacterial community composition, TCE degradation, isotopic fractionation and toxicity of a TCE contaminated aquifer
Author: Brown, Jillian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 619X
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2009
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This study is an investigation into the biodegradation potential of a TCE contaminated aquifer located at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in the UK, and the remediation prospects by employing biological and biotechnological processes such as bacterial community structure and diversity assessment, toxicity and isotopic fractionation.  Quarterly monitoring of boreholes from the former military site suggested that the plume is predominantly aerobic and therefore reliance cannot be placed only on natural attenuation.  In addition the contaminated plume contains a variety of volatile organic chemicals, petroleum, diesel and metals, which introduces potential co-metabolites as well as additional toxicity.  Assessment of the natural bacterial community of the site revealed sufficient bacterial counts to support intrinsic bioremediation and the presence of multiple additional contaminants.  Variable toxicity responses not solely explainable by TCE were observed with a broad functional bacterial diversity, which could be bio-stimulated (with substrates such as the terpenes carvone, pulegone and linalool as well as the aromatic compound cumene) or bio-augmented (with Dehalosporillium multivorans) to increase rates of TCE degradation.  Other additional agents such as iron filings were able to stimulate rapid rates of TCE degradation.  There is also evidence of potential TCE degraders within the more heavily contaminated boreholes (the finding of Pseudomonas putida).  Lastly isotopic fractionation suggests that degradation of TCE is occurring on site.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Trichloroethylene ; Pollution & threats to environment ; Water pollution ; Solvents