Dissolved oxygen imaging in a porous medium to investigate biodegradation in a plume with limited electron acceptor supply.


A novel combination of noninvasive imaging with an oxygen sensitive fluorescent indicator was developed to investigate the biodegradation processes occurring at the fringe of a solute plume, where the supply of oxygen was limited. A thin transparent porous matrix (156 x 120 x 3 mm) was made from quartz plates and quartz sand (212-300 microm) and enriched with acetate-degrading bacteria. A degrading plume developed from a continuous acetate source in the uniform flow field containing dissolved oxygen. Ruthenium (II)-dichlorotris(1,10-phenanthroline) (Ru(phen)3Cl2), a water-soluble fluorescent dye, was used as an indicator of dissolved oxygen. The fluorescence intensity was dependent on the concentration of oxygen because the dissolved oxygen acted as collisional quencher. The oxygen distribution was interpreted from images recorded by a CCD camera. These two-dimensional experimental results showed quantitatively how the oxygen concentrations decreased strongly at the narrow plume fringe and that oxygen was depleted at the core of the plume. Separately, dispersivity was measured in a series of nonreactive transport experiments, and biodegradation parameters were evaluated by batch experiments. Two-dimensional numerical simulations with MT3D/RT3D used these parameters, and the predicted oxygen distributions were compared with the experimental results. This measurement method provides a novel approach to investigate details of solute transport and biodegradation in porous media.


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@article{Huang2003DissolvedOI, title={Dissolved oxygen imaging in a porous medium to investigate biodegradation in a plume with limited electron acceptor supply.}, author={Wei E Huang and Sascha E Oswald and David N. Lerner and Colin C. Smith and Chunmiao Zheng}, journal={Environmental science & technology}, year={2003}, volume={37 9}, pages={1905-11} }