Overview Of Case Studies

We have not found any two projects to be the same in our bioenvironmental laboratory. It is through our initial team consultation that we discover each project’s uniqueness and our client’s specific needs. Through communication and specific test design, we are able to assist in solving project questions and issues. Contact us at 228-392-7977 to arrange for a free consultation call with our Technical Team to discuss testing design.

Bioremediation Case Study Enhancement Testing - Case Study #1

A client was experiencing a failure of the contaminant degradation in the bioremediation of a UST. A twofold testing design was proposed to indicate probable concentration of NO3 enhancement believed to be the exhausted agent. A battery of nutrient testing was performed as well. To augment the fieldwork, a comparison was requested showing successful respiration activity only of a groundwater currently being monitored on another site for accelerated natural attenuation.

Respirometric data indicated that the addition of NO3substantially elevated respiration and contaminant degradation, as seen in the reactors, concentrations 1, concentration 2, and concentrations 3. Analytical data indicated an increased removal rate of the BTEX, no change in MTBE, and an adequate reduction of TBA compounds. (See Enhancement Assessment Data Table below)

In contrast, the accelerated natural attenuation biographs (reactors 13,14,15,16) indicated the increased respiration attainable in the analogous site.

The client successfully reestablished the contaminant degradation rate to previously observed rates. This was accomplished within a short time frame due to the optimum dose determination and reaction kinetics data respirometrically generated.

Biodegradability Testing

Product Activity Testing - Case Study #2

A commercial producer of household products required third-party validation of a packaged microbial infusion. Previous data, where conditions were optimum and within specification, indicated a specific growth curve. The client suspected a change from its supplier and desired to confirm their assumption. Respirometric testing and plate count work confirmed the suspected variances.

A pure culture of the specific microbe was known to germinate within a certain reproducible time frame. Respirometric testing environmental laboratory indicated a germination time that was not acceptable and significantly different than the company’s specification. In the biograph to the right, the initial germination of samples “Product 1” and “Product 2” was at 16 hours; normally the species would germinate 34 to 36 hours as evidenced by the “Product 3” and “Product 3 Variant” graphs.

Based on the above testing, the manufacturer’s supplier confirmed a contamination in their pure culture that was quickly corrected and brought into the specification for this client. Additional respirometric testing for the manufacturer confirmed that the germination time had reverted to the original and intended supplier specification. Significant costs to product remake were avoided.

Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater Treatment Plant Toxicity Test Study - Adjunct Analytical

A study to determine the effect of three wastewater concentrations loading to a biological pretreatment facility was undertaken. The possibility of nitrification inhibition was of concern with each of the candidates’ three wastewaters. Additionally, cost and discharge problems would be experienced if a failure in ammonia removal occurred. A secondary element of the study was to establish a protocol for the respirometry of new waste streams as a means of selecting optimum process wastewater to treat internally and to streamline or reduce costs relating to manufacturing operations.

This data table illuminates the failure in nitrification. Note that ammonia levels were not significantly changed between the before and after respirometric categories. The rate biograph here confirms that in the area of the expected nitrification “shoulder,” no visible nitrification respiration was observed.

Subsequent process changes and toxicity testing verification indicated conclusively the relative and total effects of the waste streams to the biological treatment system. Changes made in the wastewater generation point improved the bioavailablity of the waste, improving treatment time thereby reducing production costs.

A confirmatory respirometric and analytical study was performed after the process changes and ammonia to nitrate conversion improved to more than 97%. The company benefited in knowing the optimum-loading rate and response time for these wastewaters in their pretreatment train allowing an increase in throughput to discharge, thereby reducing costs and positively affecting the waste cost to product ratio.