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Sustainability assessment of electrokinetic bioremediation compared with alternative remediation options for a petroleum release site

Gill, R. T., Thornton, S. F., Harbottle, Michael John ORCID: and Smith, J. W. N. 2016. Sustainability assessment of electrokinetic bioremediation compared with alternative remediation options for a petroleum release site. Journal of Environmental Management 184 (1) , pp. 120-131. 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.07.036

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Sustainable management practices can be applied to the remediation of contaminated land to maximise the economic, environmental and social benefits of the process. The Sustainable Remediation Forum UK (SuRF-UK) have developed a framework to support the implementation of sustainable practices within contaminated land management and decision making. This study applies the framework, including qualitative (Tier 1) and semi-quantitative (Tier 2) sustainability assessments, to a complex site where the principal contaminant source is unleaded gasoline, giving rise to a dissolved phase BTEX and MTBE plume. The pathway is groundwater migration through a chalk aquifer and the receptor is a water supply borehole. A hydraulic containment system (HCS) has been installed to manage the MTBE plume migration. The options considered to remediate the MTBE source include monitored natural attenuation (MNA), air sparging/soil vapour extraction (AS/SVE), pump and treat (PT) and electrokinetic-enhanced bioremediation (EK-BIO). A sustainability indictor set from the SuRF-UK framework, including priority indicator categories selected during a stakeholder engagement workshop, was used to frame the assessments. At Tier 1 the options are ranked based on qualitative supporting information, whereas in Tier 2 a multi-criteria analysis is applied. Furthermore, the multi-criteria analysis was refined for scenarios where photovoltaics (PVs) are included and amendments are excluded from the EK-BIO option. Overall, the analysis identified AS/SVE and EK-BIO as more sustainable remediation options at this site than either PT or MNA. The wider implications of this study include: (1) an appraisal of the management decision from each Tier of the assessment with the aim to highlight areas for time and cost savings for similar assessments in the future; (2) the observation that EK-BIO performed well against key indicator categories compared to the other intensive treatments; and (3) introducing methods to improve the sustainability of the EK-BIO treatment design (such as PVs) did not have a significant effect in this instance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sustainable remediation; Electrokinetic bioremediation; Green remediation; MTBE
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0301-4797
Funders: EPSRC, Shell Global Solutions
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 August 2016
Date of Acceptance: 12 July 2016
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2023 10:49

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