Volatile hydrocarbon emissions from a diesel fuel-contaminated soil bioremediation facility

Sandra Ausma, Grant C. Edwards, Colleen R. Fitzgerald-Hubble, Laurie Halfpenny-Mitchell, Terry J. Gillespie, Wendy P. Mortimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Concerns have been expressed that emissions of volatile hydrocarbons (HCs) from bioremediation facilities containing soils contaminated with petroleum HCs may negatively impact regional air quality or human health. Little information is available regarding the emission of HCs from bioremediation sites, and few field studies have been performed during which the flux of HCs has been directly measured during bioremediation. To aid in answering questions about the impact of bioremediation facilities on the atmospheric environment, a two-part field study was conducted over summer 1996 at a remote landfarm in northern Ontario where diesel fuel-contaminated soil was undergoing bioremediation. Volatile total hydrocarbon (THC) atmospheric flux measurements were successfully taken over 18 days using a flux gradient micrometeorological technique incorporating a THC detector constructed in-house. Peak THC emissions reached 131 μg C/m2/sec shortly after implementation and tilling of the landfarm soil. The influence of soil temperature and tillage on THC emissions was examined. Off-site inhalation exposure was considered with the aid of an areal source model and results from speciated air samples collected on sorbent tubes and analyzed via gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GCMS) techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-780
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Volatile hydrocarbon emissions from a diesel fuel-contaminated soil bioremediation facility'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this