Adventus Group : Laboratory Treatability Testing Services

By: EnviroMetal Technologies  09-12-2011
Keywords: groundwater, Permeable Reactive Barriers

The Adventus Group offers treatability testing on soil and groundwater at our laboratory at Mississauga, Ontario. We have been conducting bench-scale treatability testing for over ten years, and our services include the following:

  • EHC® groundwater bioremediation – batch and column testing on impacted groundwater
  • Chemical Oxidation – treatability testing using persulfate or permanganate
  • TOD/NOD testing – total and natural oxidant demand determinations
  • DARAMEND® soil bioremediation – microcosm testing on impacted soil
  • Permeable Reactive barriers - for chlorinated solvents and other contaminants

Our team is about professionals and professionalism. All of our technical staff hold advanced degrees in the sciences or engineering, and have experience in conducting literally hundreds of treatability studies. Our clients have access to all of this, plus dedicated customer service.

Immediately upon receipt of soil and/or groundwater samples at our laboratory, and prior to commencing any study, samples will be sent for external analysis of physical and chemical characteristics. This is often coupled with internal initial analyses at our laboratory. The initial testing will serve to provide a baseline from which results can be evaluated, and will help to determine the appropriate treatment protocol.


To mimic groundwater flow conditions, Adventus conducts most of the groundwater treatment feasibility testing in flow-through columns. The columns are set up with impacted Site soil and EHC amendments (Figure A - See Left Column). A control column system containing site soil only is also normally included in the test. For each column system, groundwater from the Site will be pumped from a TedlarR bag through the column in an up-flow manner. The flow rate will be adjusted to mimic the groundwater velocity at the site.

If appropriate, each column will be followed by 2-L glass jars that will contain Site soil to allow down-stream degradation (attenuation) to continue.

For each column system, the effluent of the treatment column and the effluent of the last attenuation jar will be sampled for VOCs, metals, or other contaminants of interest (COIs) according to a set sampling protocol. In addition, one influent sample will be taken at each sampling event. Redox and pH are monitored throughout the study.

Adventus treatability testing of chemical oxidation processes has included sodium and potassium permanganate, persulfate activated with peroxide, Fe(II), heat and NaOH. The tests are conducted in 1,000 ml closed jars filled with site soil and groundwater, plus appropriate reactive ingredients. For each reagent/activation method to be tested, the test will be conducted with six jars where two active sample jars and one control jar will be sacrificed 48 hours after the first application of oxidant. The other jars will be sacrificed 96 hrs after the second application of oxidant. These sample times may be adjusted to suit specific application conditions in consultation with the client.

The sample jars will be placed in an insulated box to slowly cool. When the samples are sacrificed (48 hrs and 96 hrs), the liquid will be decanted and analyzed for COIs, chemical oxygen demand (COD), residual oxidants and the soil will be analyzed for COIs and COD. A control sample with only site groundwater and soil will be tested for each activation method. After 96 hrs the liquid and soil will be analyzed for COIs. Residual persulfate will be measured using titration with ferrous ammonium sulfate solution. Residual peroxide will be measured using iodometric titration. Residual permangante will be measured using a spectrophotometer.


Biodegradation of target compounds will be investigated by performing soil incubation experiments in microcosms. The microcosms will consist of one to two litre glass jars, each containing 300 - 400 g of soil (air dried weight) (Figure B - See Left Column). Identification of optimal treatment conditions will be achieved by imposing a series of separate DARAMEND treatment protocols. In addition the experimental design will include at least one control. Each treatment protocol will consist of soil to which at least one of (a) DARAMEND organic amendments, (b) inorganic nutrients, and (c) pH modifiers will be applied. The identity and application rate of each will be determined from initial soil characterization results, and data from completed DARAMEND projects on soils with similar physical and chemical properties. All treatments and controls will be prepared in triplicate to allow for statistical evaluation of the results. Throughout the duration of the study, discrete samples of soil from all microcosms actively being evaluated will be collected, extracted and analyzed at a minimum frequency of once every month to determine residual concentrations of COIs.

NOD/TOC testing will be completed following a standard protocol (REMLAB-01 Ver 1.3).
(Figure C - See Left Column)

As with EHC treatability studies, flow-through columns containing zero-valent iron or other reactive media are used to mimic groundwater flow conditions through a permeable reactive barrier. By monitoring VOC concentrations at the inlet, outlet and sampling ports along the column (i.e. "a profile" of the column), the tests establish the site-specific degradation rates of the COIs present in the site groundwater and their breakdown products (for VOCs) under flowing conditions. For VOC testing, these analyses normally involve 100 to 200 samples over a two-month test period; to minimize costs these analyses are performed in-house using appropriate methodology and equipment. These rates are used to determine required residence time in the reactive material, and are used in the context of site hydrogeologic data to provide residence time simulations for numerous field-scale scenarios. Bench-scale tests include inorganic sampling of column influent and effluent, redox potential (Eh) and pH.

The following EPA methodologies are routinely employed in the Adventus laboratory:

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (based on EPA Method 8021B)
  • Organochlorine Pesticides (based on EPA Method 8081)
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (based on EPA Method 8082)
  • Chlorophenols (CP) (Method developed in-house)
  • Agilent Technologies Gas Chromatograph
  • Agilent Technologies Auto Sampler
  • Agilent Technologies Controller
  • Agilent Technologies Headspace Sampler
  • HP Series II Gas Chromatograph
  • HP Series II Auto Injector
  • HP Series Controller
  • SRI Gas Chromatograph
  • Soxtherm Automatic Extractor & Controller
  • Cole Parmer ORP Electrode
  • Cole Parmer pH Electrode
  • VWR ORP Electrode

You Benefit from our Business Model

We are not consultants, yet we seek to support environmental consultants, engineers, site owners, regulators and the academic community by helping provide unbiased design, and selection, of the most cost-effective remediation strategies.

Our goal is to provide you with the best biotechnology-based remedial solutions to effectively manage complex, challenging environmental liabilities. This can save your clients significant time and money.

Through 2010, we have successfully treated millions of liters of groundwater, and more than 9,000,000 metric tons of soil impacted by hazardous wastes, on 5 continents around the globe.

Keywords: groundwater, Permeable Reactive Barriers

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Adventus Group : Remedial Design

Our business model is to support a project team by aiding in the design and selection of the most cost-effective remedial solution or strategy without predisposition or bias to the selection of our proprietary technologies. Our business is based on remedial solution architecture, employing biotechnology to effectively manage complex, challenging environmental problems while saving our clients significant time and money.