file under: Bioremediation, Industrial, Chemicals, Environment, Federal Government, North America, Oil and Gas, United States

Looking Deep to Remediate Perchlorate

Gaseous Electron Donor Injection Technology

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), charged with safeguarding America’s citizens, interests and infrastructure, is also carrying out a life-saving mission of a different sort—protecting our drinking water supplies. Ammonium perchlorate—an oxidant found in solid rocket fuel, flares and munitions—has potentially adverse health effects. While its health effects at low-level exposure are controversial, perchlorate is an especially sensitive issue due to its high solubility and mobility in groundwater.

 
CDM Smith’s patented gaseous electron donor injection technology is an innovative and environmentally friendly in situ approach to remediate perchlorate and nitrate contamination. 

Collaborating with the DoD Environmental Security Technology Certification Program and Aerojet-General Corporation, our experts developed a patented technology of gaseous electron donor injection technology (GEDIT), which remediates perchlorate and nitrate contamination in soil. This innovative and environmentally friendly in situ technology involves injecting an electron donor as a gas rather than a liquid. The unique remediation technique does not require electricity or water to run, and unlike other remediation approaches, will not spread contaminants over a wider area.

Previous remediation technologies only treated contamination in groundwater, not in deep soil where contaminants persist. GEDIT’s high success is due to the diffusivity of gas and its ability to travel though tight soil formations, such as silt and clay, destroying more than 90 percent of perchlorate and nitrate. By remediating contaminants in soil, GEDIT protects critical groundwater sources, minimizing the need for expensive, long-term drinking water treatment technologies. In addition, GEDIT can treat many other contaminants, including hexavalent chromium, uranium, technetium, selenium, TNT, and RDX—making it a versatile and valuable technology.

This research project won the 2010 Superior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. This is the first time that a research project has ever won the Superior Achievement Award, the academy’s highest honor.

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