Potentially Bioavailable Natural Organic Carbon and Hydrolyzable Amino Acids in Aquifer Sediments Academic Article uri icon


  • This study evaluated the relationship between concentrations of operationally defined potentially bioavailable organic -carbon (PBOC) and hydrolyzable amino acids (HAAs) in sediments collected from a diverse range of chloroethene--contaminated sites. Concentrations of PBOC and HAA were measured using aquifer sediment samples collected at six selected study sites. Average concentrations of total HAA and PBOC ranged from 1.96 1.53 to 20.1 25.6 mg/kg and 4.72 0.72 to 443 65.4 mg/kg, respectively. Results demonstrated a statistically significant positive relationship between concentrations of PBOC and total HAA present in the aquifer sediment (p < 0.05). Higher levels of HAA were consistently observed at sites with greater levels of PBOC and first-order decay rates. Because amino acids are known to be readily biodegradable carbon compounds, this relationship suggests that the sequential chemical extraction procedure used to measure PBOC is a useful indicator of bioavailable carbon in aquifer sediments. This, in turn, is consistent with the interpretation that PBOC measurements can be used for estimating the amount of natural organic carbon available for driving the reductive dechlorination of chloroethenes in groundwater systems. Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation. 2012, National Ground Water Association.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Thomas, L. K., Widdowson, M. A., Novak, J. T., Chapelle, F. H., Benner, R., & Kaiser, K.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Thomas, Lashun K||Widdowson, Mark A||Novak, John T||Chapelle, Francis H||Benner, Ronald||Kaiser, Karl

publication date

  • November 2012