The impact of ultrasound on improving the performance of a granular iron Permeable Reactive Barrier (PRB) in the degradation of Trichloroethylene (TCE) was evaluated.
Two treatment columns made of clear Plexiglas with a height of 1ft and a diameter of 2 inches and filled with granular iron were used. One was fitted with 25Khz ultrasound probes. A solution of TCE was run through at constant flow rate. Samples obtained from the column at different residence times before and after sonication were analyzed for concentrations of TCE and used to generate concentration profiles to obtain rate constants, which were compared.
An improvement of 23.4% in the reaction rate of TCE degradation was observed after sonication of the iron media suggesting that ultrasound may contribute to improving the performance of PRBs in the degradation of TCE in contaminated groundwater.