Unravelling long-term source removal effects and chlorinated methanes natural attenuation processes by C and Cl stable isotopic patterns at a complex field site

Diana Rodríguez-Fernández, Clara Torrentó, Jordi Palau, Massimo Marchesi, Albert Soler, Daniel Hunkeler, Cristina Domènech, Mònica Rosell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    © 2018 Elsevier B.V. The effects of contaminant sources removal in 2005 (i.e. barrels, tank, pit and wastewater pipe sources) on carbon tetrachloride (CT) and chloroform (CF) concentration in groundwater were assessed at several areas of a fractured multi-contaminant aquifer (Òdena, Spain) over a long-term period (2010–2014). Changes in redox conditions, in these chlorinated methanes (CMs) concentration and in their carbon isotopic compositions (δ13C) were monitored in multilevel wells. δ13C values from these wells were compared to those obtained from sources (barrels, tank and pit before their removal, 2002–2005) and to commercial solvents values in literature. Additionally, CMs natural attenuation processes were identified by C-Cl isotope slopes (Λ). Analyses revealed the downstream migration of the pollutant focus and an efficient removal of DNAPLs in the pit source's influence area. However, the removal of the contaminated soil from former tank and wastewater pipe was incomplete as leaching from unsaturated zone was proved, evidencing these areas are still active sources. Nevertheless, significant CMs degradation was detected close to all sources and Λ values pointed to different reactions. For CT in the tank area, Λ value fitted with hydrogenolysis pathway although other possible reduction processes were also uncovered. Near the wastewater pipe area, CT thiolytic reduction combined with hydrogenolysis was derived. The highest CT degradation extent accounted for these areas was 72 ± 11% and 84 ± 6%, respectively. For CF, the Λ value in the pit source's area was consistent with oxidation and/or with transport of CF affected by alkaline hydrolysis from upstream interception trenches. In contrast, isotope data evidenced CF reduction in the tank and wastewater pipe influence areas, although the observed Λ slightly deviates from the reference values, likely due to the continuous leaching of CF degraded in the non-saturated zone by a mechanism different from reduction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)286-296
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Volume645
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2018

    Keywords

    • 2D-CSIA
    • Carbon tetrachloride
    • Case study
    • Chloroform
    • Òdena site

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