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Bioturbation Facilitates DDT Sequestration by Activated Carbon against Recontamination by Sediment Deposition

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David WernerORCiD, Professor Richard Luthy



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


We evaluated bioturbation as a facilitator for in-situ treatment with a thin-layer of activated carbon (AC) to treat dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT)-contaminated sediment and contaminant influx by sediment deposition. Using the freshwater worm, Lumbriculus variegatusas a bioturbator, microcosm time-series studies were conducted for four months and monitored for DDT flux and porewater concentration profiles by passive samplers. With bioturbators present, the thin-layer AC amendment reduced DDT flux by >90% compared to the same simulated scenario without AC amendment. In contrast, a clean sediment cap without AC was ineffective in reducing flux when bioturbation was present. In simulated scenarios with contaminant influx through deposition of contaminated sediment, bioturbation facilitated in-situ AC treatment, reducing 4-month DDT flux by 77% compared to the same scenario without bioturbation. Porewater concentration profiles and AC dose profiles confirmed effective mixing of AC particles down to 1 cm depth. A mass transfer model was developed to predict flux with consideration of bioturbation and sediment deposition processes. Predicted flux values were consistent with experimental results and confirm that bioturbation activity helps reduce DDT sediment-to-water fluxes in AC-treated sediment with recontamination by contaminated sediment deposition. This is the first study to developed combined experimental and modeling results showing how bioturbation enhances AC amendment effectiveness against ongoing contaminant influx by sediment deposition.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lin D, Cho YM, Tommerdahl JP, Werner D, Luthy RG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Year: 2018

Volume: 37

Issue: 7

Pages: 2013-2021

Print publication date: 01/07/2018

Online publication date: 09/03/2018

Acceptance date: 05/03/2018

Date deposited: 05/04/2018

ISSN (print): 0730-7268

ISSN (electronic): 1552-8618

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/etc.4128


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