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Perchloroethylene (PCE) dissolved in water can be reductively dechlorinated with vitamin B12 and a 200 millivolt direct current. However, preliminary trials indicate that only 30 percent or less of the original PCE was dechlorinated during treatment. If the process is to be utilized in the field, the dechlorination efficiency must be improved. Laboratory experiments using different vitamin B12 concentrations, voltage levels, geochemical conditions and PCE concentrations are conducted in water columns to determine if the dechlorination reaction can be enhanced. Tests initially involve individual variables (one-way interaction). After individual variables are tested, further testing evaluates two-way interaction of the variables. Results will help determine the conditions for optimum efficiency of the dechlorination process and the potential of the method for transfer from the laboratory to the field.
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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