Corporate Technical Director
Dr. Malcolm Burbank is an Environmental Microbiologist at CDM Smith and is the Principal Investigator for this project. He has broad experience with MICP and developed the MICP catalyzed by indigenous soil microbes approach while at the University of Idaho.
Laboratory Scale Application of Microbial Induced Calcite Precipitation to Reduce the Mobility of the Munition Constituent RDX
Residual munitions constituents (MCs) in shallow soil at Department of Defense (DoD) target ranges are long-term sources of groundwater contamination. DoD currently uses frequent application of lime and/or other materials maintaining soil pH above 10.5 to immobilize contaminants and promote alkaline hydrolysis of MCs. Microbial Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP) has the potential to promote in situ biodegradation, alkaline hydrolysis, and sequestration of MCs in soil. The research presented evaluates contributions of biotic, abiotic, and physical components of this treatment strategy for RDX in soils by varying stimulation solutions to promote MC remediation effectively and with greater permanence compared to current methods. Our research has shown the potential for MICP to reduce RDX contaminant flux by 94% and hydraulic conductivity by an order of magnitude in MC-spiked soils compared to negative controls. The expected remediation pathways evaluated include aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation, alkaline hydrolysis, and physical sequestration in calcite.