Bench tests

Novorem can run tests on groundwater samples to determine if a desired biological activity is naturally occurring (indigenous) or if there is something present in the groundwater inhibitory to a desired  biological activity. These are called bench tests or microcosm studies and they are a great way to figure out if bioremediation is going to work for you. For example, Novorem can test if addition of electron donor (biostimulation test) will result in a drop in chlorinated solvent concentrations or assess the activity of commercially available chlorinated solvent respiring cultures in groundwater samples taken from a solvent contaminated site (bioaugmentation test). Bench tests can also be used to compare different amendments a client is considering applying in situ before committing (eg. different commercially available electron donor products). In our experience, bench tests generate unambiguous results for effective decision making.

Chlorinated solvent contaminated groundwater

For chlorinated solvent contaminated groundwater bench tests involve incubating groundwater samples under anaerobic conditions in the presence of a prescribed electron donor and the target solvent (eg. chloroform) as electron acceptor. Electron donor fermentation or consumption and the transformation of the solvent into lesser chlorinated daughter products is monitored over time to assess activity. Novorem can also monitor the abundance of solvent respiring bacteria to demonstrate a link between pollutant degradation and growth of specific microbes. This link represents something substantial to reassure those responsible for site clean up, including government regulators.

Hydrocarbon contaminated groundwater

For hydrocarbon contaminated groundwater bench tests involve incubating groundwater samples in the presence of a prescribed electron acceptor (usually oxygen) and the target pollutant (eg. benzene) as electron donor. Target pollutant degradation is monitored over time to assess activity. Novorem can also apply stable isotope probing technologies to demonstrate the incorporation of carbon from a pollutant into microbial biomass and if necessary identify the microbes dominating the assimilation of carbon from the pollutant. These unambiguous links between pollutant degradation and microbial activity represent something substantial to reassure those responsible for site clean up, including government regulators.