Brent Pautler, Ph.D. (ON) will present “Volatile Fatty Acids: Key Markers for Electron Donor Optimization in Bioremediation Systems” in the Upcoming Soil and Groundwater Remediation Webinar hosted by Tersus Environmental at 1PM EDT on January 28, 2021.

Brent is the Customer Service Coordinator at SiREM and an environmental analytical chemist with advanced technical experience in analytical chemistry, passive sampling, spectroscopy, and chemistry informatics. Throughout his career, he has worked with scientists, engineers, and consultants, applying his chemistry and information technology expertise to help them solve unique problems in the laboratory and the field. He is focused on managing SiREM’s chemistry services and supporting SiREM’s bioaugmentation customers while advancing SiREM’s passive sampling portfolio.

Tersus Environmental was founded in 2011 to provide technology-based solutions combined with unparalleled technical support to increase remediation effectiveness and decrease remediation costs. Their focus is the remediation of soil and groundwater impacted with:

  • NAPLs
  • Chlorinated Solvents
  • Petroleum Hydrocarbons
  • Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)
  • Pesticides
  • Metals

They partner with clients to mitigate risks and deliver technology-based solutions to manage complex, challenging environmental liabilities. Their business model is to support the environmental consulting community with experience and resources to implement projects utilizing innovative and emerging technologies.


Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) quantification in groundwater is used to assess electron donor status in bioremediation systems. When commonly used electron donors, such as lactate, emulsified vegetable oils (EVO) or alcohols, are fermented, VFAs are produced. Detection of VFAs confirms that electron donor fermentation is occurring and indirectly indicates that hydrogen generation, the ultimate electron donor used by dechlorinating bacteria, is likely occurring. This presentation will introduce the basic chemistry behind electron donor fermentation to VFAs, their relationship to dechlorinating bacteria and ultimately bioremediation performance. Whether on their own or paired with other advanced analytical and molecular monitoring methods, the benefits of VFAs for site management and post-injection monitoring should be incorporated into bioremediation system performance monitoring plans.

More Information

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For consultation regarding Volatile Fatty Acid Analyses or other chemistry services offered by SiREM, contact Brent at
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