Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Eric A. Seagren


Jennifer G. Becker


Tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) form dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs), which are persistent groundwater contaminants. DNAPL dissolution can be "bioenhanced" via dissolved contaminant biodegradation at the DNAPL-water interface. This research hypothesized that: (1) competitive interactions between different dehalorespiring strains can significantly impact the bioenhancement effect, and extent of PCE dechlorination; and (2) hydrodynamics will affect the outcome of competition and the potential for bioenhancement and detoxification. A two-dimensional coupled flowtransport model was developed, with a DNAPL pool source and multiple microbial species. In the scenario presented, Dehalococcoides mccartyi 195 competes with Desulfuromonas michiganensis for the electron acceptors PCE and TCE. Simulations under biostimulation and low velocity (vx) conditions suggest that the bioenhancement with Dsm. michiganensis alone was modestly increased by Dhc. mccartyi 195. However, the presence of Dhc. mccartyi 195 enhanced the extent of PCE transformation. Hydrodynamic conditions impacted the results by changing the dominant population under low and high vx conditions.