Influence of Nitrate on the Hanford 100D Area In Situ Redox Manipulation Barrier Longevity
The purpose of this laboratory study is to determine the influence of nitrate on the Hanford 100D Area in situ redox manipulation (ISRM) barrier longevity. There is a wide spread groundwater plume of 60 mg/L nitrate upgradient of the ISRM barrier with lower nitrate concentrations downgradient, suggestive of nitrate reduction occurring. Batch and 1-D column experiments showed that nitrate is being slowly reduced to nitrite and ammonia. These nitrate reduction reactions are predominantly abiotic,
... dominantly abiotic, as experiments with and without bactericides present showed no difference in nitrate degradation rates. Nitrogen species transformation rates determined in experiments covered a range of ferrous iron/nitrate ratios such that the data can be used to predict rates in field scale conditions. Field scale reaction rate estimates for 100% reduced sediment (16 o C) are: a) nitrate degradation = 202 ± 50 h (half-life), b) nitrite production = 850 ± 300 h, and c) ammonia production = 650 ± 300 h. Calculation of the influence of nitrate reduction on the 100D Area reductive capacity requires consideration of mass balance and reaction rate effects. While dissolved oxygen and chromate reduction rates are rapid and essentially at equilibrium in the aquifer, nitrate transformation reactions are slow (100s of hours). In the limited (20-40 day) residence time in the ISRM barrier, only a portion of the nitrate will be reduced, whereas dissolved oxygen and chromate are reduced to completion. Assuming a groundwater flow rate of 1 ft/day, it is estimated that the ISRM barrier reductive capacity is 160 pore volumes (with no nitrate), and 85 pore volumes if 60 mg/L nitrate is present (i.e., a 47% decrease in the ISRM barrier longevity). Zones with more rapid groundwater flow will be less influenced by nitrate reduction. For example, a zone with a groundwater flow rate of 3 ft/day and 60 mg/L nitrate will have a reductive capacity of 130 pore volumes. Finally, long-term column experiments demonstrated the longevity of the reduced sediment barrier to reduce/immobilize 2 mg/L chromate in the presence of 8.4 mg/L dissolved oxygen (saturation), and 60 mg/L nitrate (maximums observed in the field). Initially the chromate reduction half-life was <0.