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Friday, September 22, 2017  

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Modeling Tools

In situ bioremediation (ISB) is a powerful, cost-effective technology for restoring contaminated sites by exploiting the natural degradative and migratory abilities of bacteria. Two major impediments to the effective design of ISB processes are the absence of a comprehensive data base for well- characterized bacteria/contaminant/soil systems and the lack of a theoretical model incorporating fundamental properties of bacteria, contaminant and the soil matrix necessary for prediction

A validated mathematical model to quantitatively describe the course of an ISB strategy would enable engineers to simulate an ISB protocol, predict its performance, evaluate it economically versus alternative strategies, and perform model-based monitoring and control.

of behavior in natural systems. A validated mathematical model to quantitatively describe the course of an ISB strategy would enable engineers to simulate an ISB protocol, predict its performance, evaluate it economically versus alternative strategies, and perform model-based monitoring and control. Over the five years of our IBM supported research, our goal is to perform the experimental studies and develop the mathematical and computational tools which would culminate in an engineering quality model for ISB.

We have established a Computational Laboratory for Environmental Biotechnology equipped with 13 IBM RS/6000 workstations for data acquisition, simulation and visualization. This facility complements our existing experimental Bacterial Migration Laboratory which is the only laboratory in the world equipped to measure bacterial transport properties at both the macroscopic and the individual cell levels. This experimental capability, combined with our modeling and computational expertise which draws on analogies to statistical mechanical methods for molecular transport phenomena, places us in a unique position to substantially expand the state of quantitative knowledge about bacterial migration and ISB. In the process we are developing mathematical models, simulation methodologies and design tools for ISB.

 

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Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904