“Applying Cometabolism for Treatment of Traditional and Emerging Contaminants at DoD Sites” by Dr. Paul Hatzinger (ESTCP Project ER20-5036)
Aerobic cometabolism of organic pollutants has been studied for more than five decades and has many applications for contaminants of concern at Department of Defense (DoD) sites. However, this process is rarely considered as either a primary remediation approach or as a critical component of natural attenuation. Laboratory and field studies suggest that aerobic cometabolism can be highly effective for a broad suite of traditional and emerging contaminants, including many chlorinated volatile organic compounds (cVOCs), 1,4-dioxane, 1,2-dibromoethane, 1,2,3-trichloropropane, and N-nitrosodimethylamine, individually or when comingled. In addition, new evidence indicates that cometabolism may be an important yet largely unrecognized component of natural attenuation of cVOCs in aquifers with varying geochemistries, including those characterized by acidic groundwater. For active treatment, cometabolism is particularly attractive at sites in which initial contaminant concentrations are low and/or where the production of secondary products from anaerobic treatment approaches (e.g., sulfide, methane, dissolved metals) is undesirable. This presentation provided an overview of the fundamentals of cometabolic processes and examples of successful field applications of this technology for treating traditional and emerging contaminants.
Dr. Paul Hatzinger is the director of the Biotechnology Development and Applications Group at APTIM. Throughout his 25-year career in research and development, Dr. Hatzinger has studied cometabolism of traditional and emerging DoD contaminants. His research group at APTIM has been instrumental in improving understanding of cometabolic degradation processes and developing field approaches to utilize these processes for contaminant remediation. He has authored more than 90 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and has served as the principal investigator on research grants from the National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Navy Environmental Sustainability Development to Integration Program, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and SERDP and ESTCP. Dr. Hatzinger earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Cornell University.