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Dr. Mitch Olson
Dr. Mitch Olson

Senior Engineer, Emerging Contaminants Practice Lead

Dr. Olson has more than 20 years of professional experience, and is Emerging Contaminants Practice Leader at Trihydro. He provides technical advisement on many of Trihydro’s Emerging Contaminants projects, coordinates internal PFAS-sampling training activities, and leads a Technical Leadership Program team within Trihydro that focuses on challenges of emerging contaminants. Dr. Olson recently participated with a team of technical experts in a National Groundwater Association PFAS guidance document, is currently a member of the Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (ITRC) PFAS team, and has participated in webinars, panel discussions, and technical presentations addressing the challenges of emerging contaminants.


Enhanced Microbial Treatment of 1,4-Dioxane in a Mixed-Contaminant Source Zone via Bioaugmentation and Cometabolism

Authors: Mitchell Olson*, Allison Riffel, Fritz Krembs, Maria Irianni Renno, Kyle McDonald, George Mathes (Trihydro), Sandra Dworatzek (SiREM)

1,4-Dioxane is widely associated with chlorinated solvent sites and presents a significant remediation challenge due to its mobility and persistence. Direct metabolism of 1,4-dioxane may be feasible, but required bacteria are often not naturally occurring at high enough concentrations to be effective. Cometabolism of 1,4-dioxane has also been demonstrated, but field-scale implementation limited to a handful of sites. At an industrial site in Puerto Rico, a pilot test with two treatment areas is evaluating bioaugmentation and cometabolism. Both treatments utilize a biosparge system that delivers air to establish aerobic conditions. To support direct metabolism, SiREM’s DXO-88TM bioaugmentation culture was injected in one area, and the other area is evaluating cometabolism via propane sparging. Performance assessment includes groundwater sampling for 1,4-dioxane, VOCs, geochemistry, and microbial community (qPCR and NextGen sequencing). Results suggest that implementation of bioaugmentation and cometabolism at portions of the site provides a feasible remedy for 1,4-dioxane source areas.

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