Cool-Ox® Bio-Spunge™ Reactor
A Patented Process To Enhance Bioremediation
The Cool-Ox® Bio-Spunge™ Reactor
Although it is expected that the bulk of the contaminant remediation will be accomplished by direct chemical oxidation, a vital role subsequent to the oxidation phase will be bio-degradation. DTI has discovered that once the oxidation reactions of the remedial work have begun taking place, the oxidation by-products create an environment ideal for the proliferation of intrinsic microbial degraders. To enhance this bio-process, DTI has developed formulations that promote accelerated biodegradation while still maintaining the vitality of the oxidation reaction. The establishment of these intrinsic microbial communities is referred to as the Cool-Ox® Bio-Spunge™ Reactor.
DTI has determined through experience gained by field applications, that a broad range of organic chemical contaminants are readily oxidized using the patented Cool-Ox® technology. Although the technology has the capability of converting the contaminants completely to carbon dioxide, this total mineralization process would prove to be prohibitively expensive because of the amount of oxidizer required. However, it has been observed at nearly every site treated, that significant contaminant reductions have been achieved with concentrations of Cool-Ox® reagents that are significantly lower than the stoichiometric ratios one would predict necessary. A study of the oxidation mechanism provided the answer to this question.
DTI has determined that a myriad of organic compounds are readily oxidized (hydroxylated) by the addition of a hydroxyl group to the molecule or the substitution (replacement) of a halogen atom by a hydroxyl group onto the molecule. This chemical reaction has been illustrated in organic chemistry textbooks and has been successfully applied, under field conditions, by DTI and DTI principles on numerous occasions. Once this conversion is complete, the resultant compounds are quite biodegradable thus setting the stage for the indigenous microbes to complete the remedial work.
In-Situ Remediation Of Groundwater
The keys to the development and successful application of the Cool-Ox® Bio-Spunge™ Reactor for the in-situ remediation of groundwater contaminants are:
- The extended life of the peroxygen compounds,
- The conversion of the contaminants to biodegradeable co-metabolites,
- The buffering systems conversion to nutrients subsequent to the oxidation phase,
- The absence of heat produced from chemical reactions,
- The verification that the oxidation process actually enhances aerobic microbial activity (for more information on this phenomenon, please Contact Us.
With the development of the Cool-Ox® process, DTI became aware that at nearly all sites treated with the Cool-Ox® reagents, the proliferation of indigenous aerobic microbes increased by as much as six orders of magnitude. Upon visual inspection of samples collected from numerous sites, it was obvious that the appearance of the soil had changed from a clean material to that resembling the type of natural sponges found in marine environments. DTI also noted that contaminant concentrations found in groundwater down gradient from the injection zones, had significantly decreased; in most cases by orders of magnitude. Once this discovery was made, DTI developed Cool-Ox® reagent formulations to improve both the efficiency of the oxidation reactions and optimize indigenous microbial proliferation.
The scanning electron microscopic photographs (contributed by Dr. H. Eric Nuttall – University of New Mexico, Albuquerque) below depict clean sand particles (left) and the same soil after treatment (right). Note, the Extra-Cellular Polymeric Substances (ECPS), giving the appearance of the matrix seen in live sponges, hold the microbes in place while allowing the groundwater to flow through. This forms the matrix of the Cool-Ox® Bio-Spunge™ Reactor. This configuration increases the surface area, thus increasing the probability of contact between contaminants and microbial degraders