Irina Kouznetsova

Process-Based Modeling of Enhanced Anaerobic Bioremediation of Trichloroethene in DNAPL Source Zones.

Chlorinated solvents and other dense nonaqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) are widespread groundwater contaminants. Bioremediation within DNAPL source zones is a promising approach for degrading these contaminants to harmless products because some dechlorination microorganisms can survive in otherwise toxic DNAPL source zones and by their activity facilitate the dissolution of DNAPLs. Modeling of immiscible phase trichloroethene (TCE) biodegradation does not yet properly account for the complexity of processes observed in laboratory studies. The goal of Irina’s project is to develop a comprehensive process-based numerical model for simulating the enhanced anaerobic bioremediation of TCE and to support laboratory and field work within Source Area Bioremediation (SABRE) project. SABRE is a public/private consortium of twelve companies, two government agencies, and three research institutions across US, Canada, and UK. The focus of this 4-year $5.7 million research and development project is a field site in the United Kingdom containing a DNAPL source area with groundwater concentrations approaching TCE solubility.

Personal Background

Irina (born in 1978) completed her Bachelor in Geology with Honors at the Moscow State University (Russia) in 1999. In 2000, she joined International Master’s course in Applied Environmental Geosciences at the University of Tuebingen (Germany) and achieved her Master degree in 2002. She continued as a PhD candidate at the University of Tuebingen within the environmental economics workgroup at the Center for Applied Geoscience focusing on remediation modeling and gained her PhD (magna cum laude) in 2006. In November 2006, she started working as a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment under the supervision of Dr. Jason Gerhard at the University of Edinburgh (UoE). In November 2007, she joined the group at Ecological Engineering Laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) as a visiting scientist. Since November 2006, Irina has been working on the Source Area Bioremediation project under the supervision of Dr. Jason Gerhard and Prof. Andrew Barry (EPFL). She is responsible for the development of the comprehensive numerical model for simulating the dehalogenation of chlorinated ethenes in the DNAPL source zones.

Travel and Awards

  • September 2008: 4th Annual Technical Meeting on Source Area Bioremediation Project, Toronto, Canada
  • May 2008: 6th International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds, Monterey, USA
  • September 2007: 3rd Annual Technical Meeting on Source Area Bioremediation Project, Washington DC, USA
  • June 2007: Geological Society Bicentennial Conference, London, UK
  • May 2007: 9th International In-Situ and On-Site Bioremediation Symposium. Baltimore, USA