Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Mark N. Goltz, PhD


Chlorinated solvents and their daughter products are the most common contaminants of groundwater at industrial and military facilities in the United States. Limitations of conventional technologies have intensified efforts to find alternative methods to remediate contaminated sites to regulatory goals set by CERCLA. Natural attenuation of chlorinated solvents is a promising alternative to traditional pump and treat methods but has not been well understood or widely accepted. This modeling study investigated the ability of TCE to completely degrade under various aquifer conditions and rate order constants. It also examined a case study of a former landfill site at Moody AFB. We found unusually high flow of ground water by advection or dispersion inhibits the complete degradation of TCE. High concentrations of sulfate or nitrate inhibit the creation of methanogenic conditions and therefore inhibit reductive dechlorination of TCE. We also found an electron donor co-contaminant a critical factor for the complete destruction of TCE because it creates anaerobic conditions. The model illustrated a possible explanation for the lack of down gradient contaminants at the landfill site may be the coupling of reductive dechlorination and cometabolism naturally attenuation the contaminants.

AFIT Designator


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