Risk Reduction Engineering Laboratory
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    26 West Martin Luther King Drive
          Cincinnati, OH 45268

         Phone  (513)569-7601
         FAX    (513)569-7787
U.S. Environmental  Protection Agency,
Region 5, Librerv  'pl " ''']
77 VYr-tf J'.c!.,  •            ",2th Floor
Orf-  ;,  ll.  '••' .'•-

Risk Reduction


 Advance the understanding,
development, and application of
engineering solutions for the
prevention and, reduction of
risks from environmental con-
Division Description:

     The Water and Hazardous Waste
     Treatment Research Division
     (WHWTRD) is one of four operat-
     ing Divisions within the Risk
     Reduction Engineering Laboratory
     (RREL).  Through its three
     Branches, WHWTRD conducts a
     program of multimedia research,
     development, and demonstration
     of treatment technologies and
     related waste management
     strategies to control hazardous,
     toxic, and other pollutants. The
     WHWTRD program is carried out
     through a variety of mechanisms
     including: in-house research;
     cooperative agreements with
             Printed on Recycled Paper

      colleges, universities, and not-for-
      profit organizations; contracts with
      environmental consultants and
      profit-making companies and
      Interagency agreements with other
      federal entities (e.g., USDA, DOE,
      Bureau of Mines). More recently,
      WHWTRD has been negotiating
      Cooperative Research and
      Development Agreements
      (CRDAs) with the private sector
      under the Federal Technology
      Transfer Act of 1986.

Division Director:

    Subhas K. Sikdar, Ph.D.

Technical Assistant:

    Jonathan G. Herrmann
Biosystems Branch:

      The Biosystems Branch is
      responsible for research, develop-
      ment, testing, and evaluation of
      biological treatment systems for
      controlling pollutants in air
      emissions, wastewaters, sludges,
      sediments, and soils. The
      Biosystems program stresses the
      scientific understanding of
      biotreatment for organically-
      contaminated soils at Superfund
      sites. It also includes research on
      bioremediation of oil spills, and
      biotreatment of hazardous wastes.
      Future research activities will be
      oriented toward improving

      engineered systems for delivery of
      biotreatment materials and
      biologically separating and
      recycling metals contained in
      contaminated water, soil, and
      sediments. The ultimate aim of this
      work will be the practical, large-
      scale application of biological
      treatment systems in the field.
Branch Chief:
      Dolloff (Fred) Bishop
      (513) 569-7629
Section Chiefs:
      Richard Brenner
      (513) 569-7657

      Richard Dobbs, Ph.D.
      (513) 569-7649
Physical/Chemical Systems

      The Physical/Chemical Systems
      Branch  is responsible for re-
      search,  development, testing, and
      evaluation of physical and
      chemical treatment systems for air
      emissions, wastewaters (both
      municipal and hazardous),
      sludges, sediments and soils. The
      Physical/Chemical program
      currently stresses development
      and testing of innovative technolo-
      gies for  treating pollutants from all
      of the above waste streams
      Future research activities will be
      oriented toward the fundamental
      understanding and development of

      improved systems for the manage-
      ment of municipal wastewaters,
      urban stormwater, and particularly
      difficult-to-treat wastes (e.g.,
      mercury, arsenic, complex
      mixtures of organics and
      inorganics) Of particular interest
      are large volume wastes (e.g.,
      contaminated sediments, mining
      wastes). The ultimate aim  of this
      work will be the practical, large-
      scale application of innovative
      physical/chemical management
      and treatment systems in the field.
Branch Chief:
      Carl Brunner, Ph.D.
      (513) 569-7655
Section Chiefs:
      James Heidman, Ph.D.
      (513) 569-7632

      Guy Simes (Acting)
      (513) 569-7845
Toxics Control Branch:

      The Toxics Control Branch is
      responsible for research, develop-
      ment, testing, and evaluation of
      treatment systems and control
      options for pesticides, industrial
      wastewaters, asbestos, and lead.
      The Toxics Control program
      currently stresses development
      and testing of innovative technolo-
      gies for managing asbestos and
      lead in urban areas.  Future
      research activities will be oriented

      toward the fundamental under-
      standing and development of
      improved systems for the manage-
      ment of both concentrated and
      dilute industrial waste streams.
      The ultimate aim of this work will
      be the practical, large-scale
      application of innovative manage-
      ment and treatment systems in the
Branch Chief:
      Roger Wilmoth
      (513) 569-7509
Section Chiefs:
      Glenn Shaul

      Bruce Hollett


Key Research Areas

Oil Spills - Following the Exxon Valdez
      oil spill in Prince William Sound in
      1989, staff from WHWTRD tested
      a number of nutrients and nutrient
      combinations to evaluate their
      effectiveness in facilitating the
      degradation of oil that had washed
      ashore. Since then, researchers from
      the Biosystems Branch have been
      investigating the ability of various
      commercially-available bioremediation
      products for controlling acutely toxic
      components and the efficacy of these
      products in various spill scenarios.  The
      fate of the longer term toxic components
      during the bioremediation process is
      also being evaluated.

 Toxicity Reduction Evaluations (TREs) -
      The Toxicity Reduction Evaluation
      (TRE) Protocol for municipal wastewater
      treatment plants was developed by the
      Biosystems Branch staff in the 1980s,
      The TRE Protocol provides a systematic
      framework for conducting TREs using
      bioassay endpoints and has been field-
      tested at a number of publicly-owned
      treatment works. Currently, work is
      underway to evaluate long-term, chronic
      bioassays for identifying specific
      toxicants and assessing their carcino-
      genic effects in fish.

 Biosystems for Aqueous Hazardous
       Wastes - Many aqueous industrial
       wastes and leachates from contami-
       nated sites contain hazardous compo-
       nents that vary widely in composition
       and strength.  Biosystems to destroy

       these hazardous components include
       granular-activated-carbon (GAG)
       assisted anaerobic treatment, GAG
       assisted aerobic treatment, and anaero-
       bic/aerobic biotreatment. The
       Biosystems Branch is stressing novel
       reactor configurations to biodegrade
       these hazardous and often recalcitrant
       aqueous wastes and innovative ap-
       proaches to control or eliminate inhibi-
       tory effects of the hazardous wastes on
       microbial activity.

 Fungal Treatment i Researchers  with the
       Biosystems Branch and the U. S.
       Department of Agriculture are investigat-
       ing the abilities of lignin-degrading fungi
       to detoxify organic hazardous wastes.
       Efforts have focused on the treatment of
       pentachlorophencl and other organic
       chemicals associated with the wood
       preserving industry.  The development
       of this technology has proceeded
       through a methodical investigation
       of growth requirements of the fungi
       and the pilot-scale testing of fungal
       treatment in soil to determine the
       conversion of pollutants to non-toxic
       end products.  A field-scale
       evaluation of the technology is

 Engineered Biosystems for Soils and
       Sediments - The practical  engi-
       neering problems associated with
       field-scale implementation of
       bioremediation technologies are
       being evaluated. Biological
       treatment systems of interest
       include, bioslurry reactors,
       composting, and land treatment
       applications. In situ biological
       treatment techniques such as
       bioventing are also under evalua-
       tion.  WHWTRD is working  with
       another RREL Branch, and other
       organizations to test various

      delivery systems for in situ biological

Air Biof ilter Treatment - The emission
      of volatile organic compounds
      (VOCs) from various industrial and
      municipal sources poses a risk to
      human health. The Biosystems
      Branch, in cooperation with the
      University of Cincinnati, has
      developed improved gas-phase
      biofilters that rapidly and efficiently
      remove VOCs from air streams.
      Research on ways to improve the
      operation and reliability of these
      biofilters is ongoing at RREL
      facilities. Technology transfer will
      be undertaken with the private
      sector and other government
      agencies to accelerate the use of
      the technology.

Constructed Wetlands - Constructed
      wetlands offer several potential
      advantages for the treatment of a
      wide variety of wastewaters.
      However, many questions concern-
      ing their design, operation, and
      performance remain. The con-
      structed wetlands research
      program involves three
      activities: (1) performance
      monitoring at operating full-
      scale constructed wetlands, (2)
      pilot-scale investigations
      constructed wetlands at
      Tennessee Technological
      University, and  (3) performance
      evaluations of small subsurface
      flow wetlands for individual

Contaminated Sediments - A
       research program was initiated
       in 1991 by the Physical/
       Chemical Systems Branch to
       investigate and evaluate cost-

       effective techniques for
       managing contaminated
       sediments. Preliminary efforts
       are aimed at in situ techniques
       for isolating or treating the
       contaminated sediments.
       Separation techniques that
       reduce the volume of sediment
       to be treated, and biological
       treatment of contaminated
       sediments in Confined Disposal
       Facilities are also being
       investigated.  A large-scale
       engineering investigation using
       ore mining and beneficiation
       techniques is being monitored
       by Physical/Chemical Systems
       Branch staff, and talks are
       underway with the U. S.
       Department of Interior's Bureau
       of Mines (BOM) to cooperate
       on research where BOM
       mineral processing techniques
       might be employed to mitigate
       the problems of contaminated

  Base-Catalyzed Dehalogenation -
        Many chlorinated organic
        products of commerce are
        toxic, and because of past
        practices, these products are
        found at high concentrations in
        the environment. In response
        to this problem, Physical/
        Chemical Systems Branch
        researchers have developed
        and patented a treatment
        technology called base-
        catalyzed dehalogenation
        (BCD). BCD removes chlorine
        from chlorinated organic
        wastes such as polychlorinated
        biphenyls (PCBs) and pesti-
        cides, thereby eliminating the
        waste's persistence and
        toxicity.  Applications include

      treatment of contaminated
      soils, contaminated oils from
      the electrical industry, and
      obsolete stocks of chlorinated

Urban Runoff - Included in urban
      runoff are stormwater and
      combined sewer overflows.
      Past research has focused
      primarily on end-of-the-pipe
      control. Some of the remaining
      questions include the value of
      pollution prevention or best
      management practices (BMPs)
      for control of urban runoff,
      possibilities for combined flood
      and pollution control, and the
      impact of these discharges on
      receiving waters. An effort was
      begun  in 1991 to identify and
      provide a methodology for
      controlling improper cross
      connections to separate storm
      sewers. Another effort has
      been recently undertaken to
      characterize the runoff  from
      specific land uses such as
      industrial sites, roads, parking
      lots, and homes.

Difficult-to-Treat Wastes - Over
      the past five years, the
      Physical/Chemical Systems
      Branch has supported the
      Office of Solid Waste and
      Emergency Response
      (OSWER) with technical
      performance data on various
      Best Demonstrated Available
      Technologies (BOAT) for
      treating RCRA hazardous and
      Superfund wastes. The bulk of
      this regulatory support  effort is
      completed.  However, wastes that
      are difficult-to-treat are still being
      produced by various industries,

        and are also present at Supertund
        sites due to past disposal prac-
        tices. In response to this need for
        effective technologies for difficult-
        to-treat wastes, Physical/Chemical
        Systems Branch staff have
        initiated a research program to
        identify existing techniques; or
        develop, test, and evaluate new
        techniques for such pollutants as
        lead, mercury, and arsenic.  The
        first phase of this effort was
        experts' workshops on mercury
        and arsenic to identify effective
        waste managementtechniques;
        from pollution prevention, through
        recovery,  recycle, reuse, treat-
        ment, and containment.

  Electee-kinetic Processes - Contami-
        nated soils and industrial wastewa-
        ters often contain charged
        contaminants such as dissolved
        heavy metals. A research
        program' has been initiated in the
        Physical/Chemical Systems
        Branch to study the use  of
        electrokinetic processes in the
        remediation of contaminated soils
        and the recovery of charged
        pollutants from aqueous waste
        streams.  Electrokinetics is
        composed of three phenomena
        (i.e., electroosmosis, electrophore-
        sis, and electrolysis) related to the
        response of charged molecules or
        particles to an applied voltage
        gradient.  Among these phenom-
        ena, electoosmosis and electroly-
        sis are of  particular interest.
        Electroosmosis, the movement of
        soil pore fluid from one electrode
        to another, can be utilized to
        remediate contaminated soils in
        situ by flushing out the pore fluid
        and contaminants and can be
        applied to soils containing charged

      as well as uncharged contami-
      nants. Electrolysis, the movement
      of aqueous ions and ion-com-
      plexes, can be used to recover
      contaminants from soil as well as
      to separate heavy metals from

TRI Estimation Improvement - The
      Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) is a
      unique resource, envisioned from
      the outset as a way to provide
      publicly available data that could
      be used as a catalyst for pollution
      prevention activities at the
      community, state, and federal
      levels. A significant portion of the
      TRI data is based on estimations
      rather than measurements;
      therefore, it is critical that the
      estimates be as accurate as
      possible.  Research to improve
      estimation techniques for difficult-
      to-estimate processes is the focus
      of activity in this area. This
      research effort will stress coopera-
      tion  with industry and industrial
      trade associations to: (1) identify
      processes and  operations  needing
      estimation-accuracy improvement,
      and (2)  develop the improved
      estimation techniques.

Separations for Wastes  - Separation
      technologies (e.g., membranes,
      adsorption/absorption, stripping,
      extraction) have been receiving
      increased research and develop-
      ment funding from both industry
      and government.  The application
      of separation technologies as end-
      of-pipe treatment is being replaced
      by the application of these
      technologies at up-stream
      process points to segregate
      pollutants before treatment and
      final discharge. New and innova-

        tive applications of separation
        technologies are being researched
        by the Toxics Control Branch in
        cooperation with industry. Current
        projects include determining the
        use of separation technologies
        within key industrial classifications,
        investigating membrane processes
        for treatment of oil and gas
        production waters,  and evaluating
        sorption, membrane, and oxidation
        processes for treatment of
        pesticide wastewaters.

  Lead Paint Abatement - Lead from
        peeling house paint is a harmful
        toxicant, particularly to children. In
        response to this ever increasing
        concern about lead in the home,
        the Toxics Control Branch
        researchers have initiated a
        program to reduce children's
        exposure to lead. Although
        resources for this effort are quite
        limited, TCB staff are developing a
        Cooperative Research and
        Development Agreement (CRDA)
        with a company that uses dry ice
        (i.e., frozen CO2) particle blasting
        to remove paint from aircraft.
        Modifications to the existing
        equipment are being developed in
        order to address various situations
        not encountered in aircraft paint
        stripping. Also,  efforts are
        underway to locate a site for a field
        test of the modified technology.

  Asbestos - Asbestos has been used
        for decades as a preferred, even
        mandatory, insulation  and fire
        protection material in structures.
        Serious health effects may result
        from inhalation of fine, micro-
        scopic, durable asbestos fibers.
        The Toxics Control Branch has
        been working for a number of

years to reduce the risk to the
public from asbestos exposure.
Current research is emphasizing
management-m-place and controls
during operation and maintenance
activities to minimize exposure.
Research in the future will be
focused on the conversion of
asbestos wastes to less toxic
forms and the evaluation of man-
made fibers, which are increas-
ingly being called into question.


Key Research Area


Biosystems Branch

Oil Spills

   Albert Venosa

Toxicity Reduction Evaluations

   Richard Dobbs

Biosystems for Aqueous Hazardous

   Richard Brenner

Fungal Treatment

   John Glaser

Engineered Biosystems for Soils
and Sediments

   Gregory Sayles

Air Biotliter Treatment

   Fred Bishop

Physical/Chemical Systems

Constructed Wetlands

   Donald Brown
   (513)569-7630                    17

Contaminated Sediments
    Dennis Timberiake
Base-Catalyzed Dehalogenation
    Charles Rogers
Urban Runoff
    Richard Field
Difficult-to-Treat Wastes
    Ronald Turner
Electrokinetic Processes
    Leland Vane
    (513) 569-7799
T&E Facility
    Frank Evans
 Toxics Control Branch
  TRI Estimation Improvement
     Glenn Shaul
  Separations for Wastes
     Thomas Holdsworth
  Lead Paint Abatement
     John Burckle
     Bruce Hollett

RREL Treatability Database

    Thomas Holdsworth


Research  Facilities

Andrew W. Breidenbach
      Environmental Research Center
      (AWBERC): AWBERC houses
      several research organizations
      reporting to EPA's Office of
      Research and Development.  The
      Risk Reduction Engineering
      Laboratory (RREL), of which
      WHWTRD is one division, is
      headquartered at AWBERC.
      WHWTRD operates 30 laboratory
      modules in AWBERC investigating
      proof-of-concept, bench-scale, and
      small pilot-scale technologies for
      treating various wastes of interest.
      The Electron Microscopy Labora-
      tory, operated by the Toxics
      Control Branch, but offering
      services to all of AWBERC, is
      located on the third floor. Labora-
      tories for investigating biological,
      physical, and chemical technolo-
      gies are located on the fourth and
      seventh floors.

Test & Evaluation Facility (T&E
      Facility):  The T&E Facility is a
      RCRA-permitted, research and
      development pilot plant in which
      new technologies for treating
      hazardous, municipal and indus-
      trial wastes are evaluated. The
      T&E Facility is a two-story building
      containing 24,000 square feet of
      high-bay space. It is located on
      the grounds of the Metropolitan
      Sewer District of Cincinnati and is
      designed  to allow testing and
      evaluation of a broad spectrum of

      technology for waste treatment
      at the bench and pilot scale.  The
      T&E Facility is available to non-
      EPA organizations if the research
      proposed supports the mission of


RREL Treatability Database:
      The RREL Treatability Data Base
      was designed to provide a
      thorough review of the effective-
      ness of proven treatment technolo-
      gies in the removal and/or
      destruction of chemicals in various
      media such as municipal and
      industrial wastewater, drinking
      water, groundwater, soil, debris,
      sludge, and sediments. Version
      4.0 of the data base was released
      in February 1992, and contains
      1166 chemical compounds and
      over 9200 sets of treatability data.
      The data base has been devel-
      oped using Dbase III Plus and
      compiled using Clipper. It is
      designed to operate on an IBM or
      IBM compatible (MS DOS)
      personal computer and is menu
      driven.  The data base has the
      following hard- and software

       •   8 megabyte hard disk
       •   640 K RAM memory
       •   DOS Version 2.0 and 3.3 or
       •   12 pitch printer

      The data base is currently
      available free of charge. Copies
      can be  obtained by mailing or
      faxing your request to the address
      that appears below.  Please
      specify the type of program
      diskette required for your computer

      (i.e., 3.5" high density or 5.25" high

WHWTRD Fact Sheets:  Fact Sheets
      on all of the aforementioned Key
      Research Areas can be obtained
      by faxing a written  request to the
      attention of the Division Director -
      WHWTRD, or by writing to the
      following address:
        Division Director - WHWTRD

        Risk Reduction Engineering
       26 W. Martin Luther King Drive
           Cincinnati, OH 45268
           FAX NO. (513)569-7787
                  •fr US.GP.O.: 1992-750-002/6007