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Title: Biostimulation of Iron Reduction and Uranium Immobilization: Microbial and Mineralogical Controls

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Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL; Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL; Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Annual Environmental Remediation Sciences Program PI Meeting, April 3-5, 2006, Warrenton, VA
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Kostka, Joel E., Mills, Heath, Akob, Denise, Gihring,Thomas, Stucki, Joseph W., Goodman, Bernard A., and Kerkhof, Lee. Biostimulation of Iron Reduction and Uranium Immobilization: Microbial and Mineralogical Controls. United States: N. p., 2006. Web.
Kostka, Joel E., Mills, Heath, Akob, Denise, Gihring,Thomas, Stucki, Joseph W., Goodman, Bernard A., & Kerkhof, Lee. Biostimulation of Iron Reduction and Uranium Immobilization: Microbial and Mineralogical Controls. United States.
Kostka, Joel E., Mills, Heath, Akob, Denise, Gihring,Thomas, Stucki, Joseph W., Goodman, Bernard A., and Kerkhof, Lee. Wed . "Biostimulation of Iron Reduction and Uranium Immobilization: Microbial and Mineralogical Controls". United States. doi:.
title = {Biostimulation of Iron Reduction and Uranium Immobilization: Microbial and Mineralogical Controls},
author = {Kostka, Joel E. and Mills, Heath and Akob, Denise and Gihring,Thomas and Stucki, Joseph W. and Goodman, Bernard A. and Kerkhof, Lee},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Apr 05 00:00:00 EDT 2006},
month = {Wed Apr 05 00:00:00 EDT 2006}

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  • The overall objective of our project is to understand the microbial and geochemical mechanisms controlling the reduction and immobilization of U(VI) during biostimulation in subsurface sediments of the Field Research Center (FRC) which are cocontaminated with uranium and nitrate. The focus will be on activity of microbial populations (metal- and nitrate-reducing bacteria) and iron minerals which are likely to make strong contributions to the fate of uranium during in situ bioremediation. The project will: (1) quantify the relationships between active members of the microbial communities, iron mineralogy, and nitrogen transformations in the field and in laboratory incubations under a varietymore » of biostimulation conditions, (2) purify and physiologically characterize new model metal-reducing bacteria isolated from moderately acidophilic FRC subsurface sediments, and (3) elucidate the biotic and abiotic mechanisms by which FRC aluminosilicate clay minerals are reduced and dissolved under environmental conditions resembling those during biostimulation. Active microbial communities will be assessed using quantitative molecular techniques along with geochemical measurements to determine the different terminal-electron-accepting pathways. Iron minerals will be characterized using a suite of physical, spectroscopic, and wet chemical methods. Monitoring the activity and composition of the denitrifier community in parallel with denitrification intermediates during nitrate removal will provide a better understanding of the indirect effects of nitrate reduction on uranium speciation. Through quantification of the activity of specific microbial populations and an in-depth characterization of Fe minerals likely to catalyze U sorption/precipitation, we will provide important inputs for reaction-based biogeochemical models which will provide the basis for development of in situ U bioremediation strategies. In collaboration with Jack Istok and Lee Krumholz, we have begun to study the change in microbial community composition of FRC sediments during in situ biostimulation in single well push-pull tests. Microbial communities were stimulated in the acidic subsurface via pH neutralization and addition of electron donor to wells. Examination of sediment chemistry in cores sampled immediately adjacent to treated wells revealed that sediment pH increased substantially (by 1-2 pH units), while nitrate was largely depleted. Following the in situ biostimulation, previously cultured metal-reducing {delta}-Proteobacteria 16S rRNA gene sequences substantially increased from 5% to nearly 40% of clone libraries. Quantitative PCR revealed that Geobacter-type 16S rRNA gene sequences increased in biostimulated sediments by one to two orders of magnitude at two of the four sites tested, thereby corroborating information obtained from clone libraries, and indicating that members of the {delta}-Proteobacteria (including Anaeromyxobacter dehalogenans-related and Geobacter-related organisms) are important metal-reducing bacteria in FRC.« less
  • This project represented a joint effort between Florida State University (FSU), Rutgers University (RU), and the University of Illinois (U of I). FSU served as the lead institution and Dr. J.E. Kostka was responsible for project coordination, integration, and deliverables. This project was designed to elucidate the microbial ecology and geochemistry of metal reduction in subsurface environments at the U.S. DOE-NABIR Field Research Center at Oak Ridge, Tennessee (ORFRC). Our objectives were to: 1) characterize the dominant iron minerals and related geochemical parameters likely to limit U(VI) speciation, 2) directly quantify reaction rates and pathways of microbial respiration (terminal-electron-accepting) processesmore » which control subsurface sediment chemistry, and 3) identify and enumerate the organisms mediating U(VI) transformation. A total of 31 publications and 47 seminars or meeting presentations were completed under this project. One M.S. thesis (by Nadia North) and a Ph.D. dissertation (by Lainie Petrie-Edwards) were completed at FSU during fall of 2003 and spring of 2005, respectively. Ph.D. students, Denise Akob and Thomas Gihring have continued the student involvement in this research since fall of 2004. All of the above FSU graduate students were heavily involved in the research, as evidenced by their regular attendance at PI meetings and ORFRC workshops.« less
  • A several-month-long ethanol injection experiment is being conducted to study the impacts of porous media structure (i.e., heterogeneity existing at multiple scales) on the effectiveness of metal/radionuclide bioremediation in a highly heterogeneous unconfined aquifer near Oak Ridge, TN, USA. We have constructed a 3D field-scale groundwater flow and multicomponent reactive transport model to simulate the experimental observations. The model incorporates a suite of abiotic reactions and microbially-mediated redox reactions for multiple terminal electron accepting processes (TEAPs) including soluble oxygen, nitrate, U(VI) and sulfate and solid-phase electron acceptors. Different biomass populations are considered in the model. Growth of these populations ismore » derived from the bioenergetics-based approach in which the partitioning of electron flow between energy generation and cell biomass production is dependent on the free energy of the corresponding TEAP. TEAP reaction rates were free energy constrained. The TEAP model and reaction system have been formulated and used to simulate laboratory batch experimental observations. We conducted the field-scale simulation starting with the reaction system and parameters obtained from the batch experiment and hydrologic parameters estimated from the results of pumping tests, water level monitoring and model interpretation of a tracer test conducted in August 2004. Reaction parameters were investigated to compare simulation results and field experiment observations.« less