In Situ and Laboratory Studies on the Fate of Specific Organic Compounds in an Anerobic Landfill Leachate Plume, 1. Experimental Conditions and Fate of Phenolic Compounds

Per Henning Nielsen, Hans-Jørgen Albrechtsen, Gorm Heron, Thomas Højlund Christensen

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    Abstract

    The transformation of specific organic compounds was investigated by in situ and laboratory experiments in an anaerobic landfill leachate pollution plume at four different distances from the landfill. This paper presents the experimental conditions in the in situ microcosm and laboratory batch microcosm experiments performed and the results on the fate of 7 phenolic compounds. Part 2 of this series of papers, also published in this issue, presents the results on the fate of 8 aromatic compounds and 4 chlorinated aliphatic compounds. The redox conditions in the plume were characterized as methanogenic, Fe(III)-reducing and NO~--reducing by the redox sensitive species presevt in groundwater and sediment and by bioassays. With a few exceptions the aquifer redox conditions were maintained throughout the experiments as monitored by redox sensitive species present in groundwater during the experiments, by redox sensitive species present in the sediment after the experiments and by bioassays performed after the experiments. Transformation of nitrophenol was very fast close to the landfill in strongly reducing conditions, while transformation was slower in the more oxidized part of the plume. Lag phases for the nitrophenols were short (maximum 10 days). Phenol was only transformed in the more distant part of the plume in experiments where NO~, Fe(lII) and Mn(IV) reduction was dominant. Lag phases for phenol were either absent or lasted up to 2 months. Dichlorophenols were only transformed in experiments representing strongly reducing, presumably methanogenic, redox conditions close to the landfill after lag phases of up to 3 months. Transformation of o-cresol was not observed in any of the experiments throughout the plume. Generally, there was good accordance between the results obtained by in situ and laboratory experiments, both concerning redox conditions and the fate of the phenolic compounds. However, for phenol and 2,4-dichlorophenol, transformation was observed in some in situ experiments but not in the corresponding laboratory experiments. In some experiments, this could be explained by differences in the redox conditions developing during the experiments. Nitrophenols were apparently transformed abiotically in the most reduced part of the plume, at 2 m from the landfill.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Contaminant Hydrology
    Volume20
    Pages (from-to)27-50
    ISSN0169-7722
    Publication statusPublished - 1995

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