U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 88 (2006) 119–136.


Biogeochemical reductive dechlorination (BiRD) is a new remediation approach for chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHs). The approach stimulates common sulfate-reducing soil bacteria, facilitating the geochemical conversion of native iron minerals into iron sulfides. Iron sulfides have the ability to chemically reduce many common CAH compounds including PCE, TCE, DCE, similar to zero valent iron (Fe0). Results of a field test at Dover Air Force Base, Dover, Delaware, are given in this paper. BiRD was stimulated by direct injection of Epson salt (MgSO4·7H2O) and sodium (L) lactate (NaC3H5O3) in five injection wells. Sediment was sampled before and 8 months after injection. Significant iron sulfide minerals developed in the sandy aquifer matrix. From ground water analyses, treatment began a few weeks after injection with up to 95% reduction in PCE, TCE, and cDCE in less than 1 year. More complete CAH treatment is likely at a larger scale than this demonstration.