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Bill McLaren
Bill McLaren

University of Waterloo

PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo with a unique blend of experience working with engineers and academics involved in drinking water/wastewater treatment, groundwater remediation, nanotechnology, and public health. Specializing in research and development, I have extensive experience with data analysis and interpretation, computer modelling and coding, laboratory and field work, and research project management. Fields of expertise include groundwater remediation (activated carbon particulate amendments and chemical oxidation), wastewater treatment (sludge handling/processing, PPCP modeling and impact analysis, and OSPW treatment), and water treatment (system design and advanced oxidation processes (particularly TiO2-UV treatment)).


Anaerobic Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Powdered Activated Carbon Groundwater Systems: A Modelling Investigation

At sites contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs), activated carbon (AC) particulate amendments have become a popular in situ groundwater treatment technology due to ease of application and ability to sequester significant amounts of contaminant mass. Anoxic subsurface conditions where sulfate-reducing and methanogenic biodegradation is perhaps the dominant mass removal process allows for the regeneration of sorption sites on AC, creating an enhanced dynamic equilibrium preventing downgradient migration of PHC plumes. However, there is a need for supporting evidence demonstrating that AC enhances biodegradation rates. A modelling investigation into interactions between sorption processes and methanogenic biodegradation are explored in this study to provide insight into the degree of synergy and enhanced biodegradation in these systems. Batch reactor simulations reflecting a series of microcosm experiments suggest enhanced biodegradation for compounds with high sorption affinity, while one-dimensional models demonstrate that biokinetic parameters have a more significant impact on amendment performance than PHC loading.

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