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Compound-Specific Stable Isotope Analysis (CSIA) for Evaluating Degradation of Organic Pollutants: An Overview of Field Case Studies

  • Kevin Kuntze
  • Heinrich Eisenmann
  • Hans-Hermann Richnow
  • Anko FischerEmail author
Reference work entry
  • 64 Downloads
Part of the Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology book series (HHLM)

Abstract

Compound-specific stable isotope analysis (CSIA) is an advanced monitoring tool for evaluating natural and stimulated degradation of organic pollutants at contaminated field sites. CSIA enables the decipherment and quantification of degradation processes and the assignment of organic pollutant sources and polluters, respectively. Since the end of 1990s, around 200 field studies on CSIA as well as over 40 reviews on its basics have been published illustrating the wide range of application and reliability of this monitoring tool. Increasingly, multielement CSIA (ME-CSIA) is applied, which allows the differentiation of degradation pathways. For most organic pollutants, anaerobic biodegradation can be distinguished from aerobic biodegradation and abiotic transformation using ME-CSIA. CSIA is often the key monitoring tool for multiple-line-of-evidence approaches (MLEA) allowing a comprehensive evaluation of degradation processes of organic pollutants, which is required for most effective remediation strategies. Due its advantages, CSIA is recommended in numerous guidelines and directives from environmental agencies and associations. However, there is still a need for implementation of CSIA within the contaminated site management in order to increase the benefits of this method for a thorough development of conceptual site models and success control of natural and stimulated degradation of organic pollutants. This chapter provides an overview and recent developments on CSIA applied for the assessment of pollutant degradation at field sites including an extensive review of literature.

Notes

Acknowledgment

This work was financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for the projects ContaSorb (03XP0090D) and IsoAqua (02WQ1481A).

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Kuntze
    • 1
  • Heinrich Eisenmann
    • 1
  • Hans-Hermann Richnow
    • 2
  • Anko Fischer
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Isodetect GmbHLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Department of Isotope BiogeochemistryHelmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZLeipzigGermany

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