Assessing Multicomponent DNAPL biostabilization potential. II: Aroclor 1242

A. R. Bielefeldt, A. M. Riffel, A. Ramaswami, T. Illangasekare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Aroclors are dense nonaqueous-phase liquids (DNAPLs) composed of polychlorinated biphenyls, which are common subsurface contaminants. Because complete remediation of Aroclor is very difficult, biostabilization may offer an alternative where risk reduction can be achieved without destruction of the DNAPL mass. The potential for aerobic in situ biostabilization of Aroclor 1242 was evaluated using laboratory protocols similar to those described in the companion paper. Total microbial concentrations increased and stabilized in both mixed and unmixed systems, while the respiring cells did not stabilize in either system. After 100 days, the DNAPL in mixed biometers was depleted in dichlorobiphenyls; the DNAPL composition in unmixed biometers did not change significantly. The total aqueous polychlorinated biphenyl concentration was lower in the unmixed than mixed biometers; both were below the predicted equilibrium concentration. After 100 days, the chronic toxicity of the aqueous phase to Cerodaphnia was greater in the biotreated systems than in the unbiotreated systems. The results indicate that aerobic microbiological activity may be insufficient to fully stabilize Aroclor in the subsurface, in contrast to the clear biostabilization potential of coal tar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1073-1079
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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