¹Department of Chemistry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506; ²Department of Biochemistry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506; and ³Department of Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506
Bioremediation, the process of microorganisms controlling and degrading contaminants, is one of the fastest growing hazardous waste cleanup alternatives. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometry is used to monitor the uptake and degradation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in contaminated ground water. Previous studies, using FT-IR spectrometry for monitoring, suggested that toluene was degraded by adapted alfalfa plants and/or their associated microorganisms. A plant growth chamber was designed to model contaminated ground water flow. Alfalfa plants were placed in a 90 cm x 40 cm x 35 cm plant growth chamber. 200 µL/L of trichloroethylene (TCE) spiked ground water was continually fed into one half of the chamber. The other half of the plant growth chamber received 100 µL/L each of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) and chloroform (CHCl3). Present studies include monitoring TCA, CHCl3 and TCE from a population of adapted alfalfa plants. The gas phase above the alfalfa plants in the plant growth chamber at various growing stages was monitored for accumulation and depletion of contaminants. Also, headspace gas samples of the inlet and outlet ports of the plant growth chamber were measured. The transpiration rate of individual alfalfa plants was successfully monitored using deuterium as an internal standard in contaminated ground water. Studies suggest very little contaminant was taken up from the flow of water though individual alfalfa plants. The FT-IR spectrometer can quickly and efficiently monitor the effects of alfalfa plant bioremediation.
FT-IR, bioremediation, volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
This paper is from the Proceedings of the 10th Annual Conference on Hazardous Waste Research 1995, published in hard copy and on the Web by the Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Hazardous Substance Research Center.