SABRE (Source Area in situ BioREmediation) was a collaborative R&D project undertaken by an international, multidisciplinary team which ran between 2004 and 2008. The project comprised laboratory and field-pilot scale development of an accelerated anaerobic bioremediation process for free-phase chlorinated solvent contamination in groundwater. Quantitative performance validation of the SABRE field study, to assess remediation efficiency, entailed detailed monitoring, numerical modelling and statistical analysis. A UK test site contaminated with trichloroethene (TCE) was used to undertake the project, which is supported through the UK DTI Bioremediation LINK programme.
Chlorinated solvents have been used in large quantities by a diverse range of industries (including chemicals production, metalworking, automotive, aerospace, electronics and dry cleaning). They are consequently extremely common contaminants in soil and groundwater.Chlorinated solvent releases into the sub-surface may result in the presence of free-phase (dense non-aqueous phase liquid; DNAPL) chlorinated solvent contamination, which will persist for decades and act as long-term sources of groundwater contamination.
Bioremediation is the application of biological degradation processes to reduce the amount of contamination present in the subsurface (soil or groundwater) and/or the risks posed by such contamination.
Under anaerobic (oxygen-free) conditions, the process of dehalorespiration undertaken by specific bacteria can result in the complete degradation of many specific chlorinated solvents to innocuous end-products. This biodegradation process can also take place even when chlorinated solvent DNAPL is present.
The SABRE project comprises laboratory and field-pilot scale development of an accelerated anaerobic bioremediation process for DNAPL source areas in soil and groundwater based upon use of dehalorespiring bacteria. Treatment is achieved by the controlled addition of growth substrates to support dehalorespiring bacteria under conditions that ensure the maximum rate of reductive dechlorination. The process offers the potential to be a technically and economically effective in situ remediation option for soil and groundwater contaminated with large amounts of chlorinated solvents.
The objective of Project SABRE was to generate scientifically robust, multiple lines of evidence to enable:
The project ran from October 2004 to end-2008 and involves the following work packages:
CL:AIRE is a registered charity (No. 1075611) and an environmental body registered with ENTRUST (Entrust No. 119820). We are also an incorporated company, limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales (reg no. 3740059).