Girl working in laboratory

Biotreatability Studies

Biotreatability studies are bench-scale tests that analyze whether bacteria or other microbes can degrade different compounds of concern.

Enhanced in situ bioremediation (EISB) treatability, or biotreatability studies, are bench-scale tests that analyze whether bacteria or other microbes can degrade different compounds of concern, with or without adding amendment. These tests use site materials, like soil, sediment, rock, and groundwater, to monitor compound degradation under various conditions, testing treatment variables to optimize remediation. Clients reach out to SiREM to understand whether bioremediation, or adding microorganisms into the subsurface at their sites, can help degrade contaminants at their sites.  

Biotreatability studies can answer these site-specific questions: 

  • Will compounds of concern likely biodegrade under current site conditions at my site? 

  • How quickly will they biodegrade?

  • What can I do to increase biodegradation rates? (add electron donors, electron acceptors, nutrients, bioaugmentation cultures, or pH buffers)

  • What are the degradation intermediates and degradation pathways? 

  • Will controlling variables such as pH, redox, and electron donor demand support or speed up bioremediation?

Customized Studies for Dependable Results 

SiREM experts perform biotreatability studies for a variety of contaminants using small batch reactors, flow-through columns, and custom set-ups.  

Biotreatability studies can help you accomplish the following: 

  • Evaluate multiple amendments before choosing EISB or another remedy. 

  • Optimize electron donor or acceptor type and dosing. 

  • Optimize pH buffer type and dosing. 

  • Incrementally identify and manage risk from the lab to pilot studies to treatment. 

  • Reassure stakeholders early on that EISB is a feasible remedy. 

Deep Experience with Aerobic and Anaerobic Cultures 

Using specialized protocols and anaerobic chambers, SiREM’s anaerobic studies maintain the activities of oxygensensitive microorganisms. In addition to traditional anaerobic studies, SiREM also has extensive experience conducting aerobic and cometabolic studies that evaluate intrinsic and enhanced bioremediation under different electronaccepting conditions.  

Batch test microcosms designed to evaluate bioremediation of compounds of concern under aerobic or anaerobic conditions with Mininert caps designed to allow frequent sampling or amendment into the microcosms.

Custom-designed flow-through reactors assess anaerobic bioremediation of dissolved metals and selenium using biostimulation in a gravel bed reactor (GBR).

Actionable Results 

All custom studies are replicated, controlled experiments that provide a high data integrity and interpretability. SiREM’s interpretative reports summarize data and place results in the context of a specific site to help clients select and optimize remedies.  

Ready to get started?

Contact us to investigate your treatability options. Together we can create custom remediation solutions for your site.