Raleigh, NC, October 08, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Soil and groundwater clean-up is critical to sustainable business practices across many industries. The conventional wisdom for remediation of aquifers contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) is to add oxygen. A paradigm shift in the remediation of petroleum hydrocarbons has occurred that employs a sulfate-enhanced in situ remediation strategy (U.S. Patent # 7,138,060).
It was once thought that aromatic hydrocarbons do not biodegrade under anaerobic conditions. However, the importance of naturally occurring anaerobic oxidation processes in the biodegradation of PHCs is now firmly established and is considered the dominant driving force in natural attenuation of PHCs in the subsurface. Sulfate reduction and methanogenesis appear to be the dominant natural degradation processes at most sites. A recent British Petroleum/EPA study has concluded that most hydrocarbon plumes are anaerobic and depleted of sulfate. Other studies have drawn comparable conclusions. EAS™ is an anaerobic degradation process that facilitates natural attenuation of PHCs in the subsurface. This process occurs when terminal electron acceptor compounds such as nitrate, sulfate, and iron react to reduce PHC concentrations. The EAS™ process stimulates biodegradation by providing a soluble, readily available electron acceptor. In the presence of elevated sulfate, anaerobic groundwater bacteria use the PHCs for carbon and energy while mineralizing the hydrocarbons to carbon dioxide and water. EAS™ enhances natural conditions and reduces the carbon foot print when compared to conventional remediation.