Numerical modeling analysis of hydrodynamic and microbial controls on DNAPL pool dissolution and detoxification: Dehalorespirers in co-culture

Document Type


Publication Date



Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


Dissolution of dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) contaminants like tetrachloroethene (PCE) can be "bioenhanced" via biodegradation, which increases the concentration gradient at the DNAPL-water interface. Model simulations were used to evaluate the impact of ecological interactions between different dehalorespiring strains and hydrodynamics on the bioenhancement effect and the extent of PCE dechlorination. Simulations were performed using a two-dimensional coupled flow-transport model, with a DNAPL pool source and two microbial species, Dehalococcoides mccartyi 195 and Desulfuromonas michiganensis, which compete for electron acceptors (e.g., PCE), but not for their electron donors. Under biostimulation, low vx conditions, D. michiganensis alone significantly enhanced dissolution by rapidly utilizing aqueous-phase PCE. In co-culture under these conditions, D. mccartyi 195 increased this bioenhancement modestly and greatly increased the extent of PCE transformation. Although D. michiganensis was the dominant population under low velocity conditions, D. mccartyi 195 dominated under high velocity conditions due to bioclogging effects.

Publisher's Statement

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2015.01.009

Publication Title

Advances in Water Resources