Analysis of the Bioremediation of Heavy Metals and Chlorinated Solvents with Emphasis on the Utility of Molasses Injection


Pote, Jonathan W.

Committee Member

Massey, Joseph H.

Committee Member

Burcham, Timothy N.

Committee Member

Thomasson, J. Alex

Committee Member

Cathcart, Thomas P.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


This study evaluates the effectiveness of molasses injection for reducing heavy metals and chlorinated solvents in a ground water plume at the Avco-Lycoming Superfund site in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Molasses injection stimulates the respiration of microorganisms to make a more reducing environment. As the environment?s Redox potential decreases, the rate of chemical reduction increases. The concentrations of heavy metals and chlorinated solvents were monitored to evaluate the effectiveness of the molasses injection. The statistics revealed a decrease in the Oxidation-Reduction Potential in the groundwater and a reduction in hexavalent chromium and TCE concentrations in the groundwater. The Environmental Protection Agency views molasses injection as a viable technique for site remediation. Molasses injection is a form of facilitated natural attenuation. Molasses is injected into a plume to make the environment anaerobic. An anaerobic environment facilitates the microbes that breakdown trichloroethylene (TCE), trans-dichloroethylene (DCE), vinyl chloride (VC) and hexavalent chromium.



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