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Treatment Technologies

Treatment of perchlorate in soil and water is complicated by its physical and chemical properties. The perchlorate anion is soluble and very mobile in aqueous systems and can persist in the environment for many decades under typical groundwater and surface water conditions because it does not react readily with other available constituents. While perchlorate is a strong oxidizing agent, its reduction is generally very slow, rendering common reductants ineffective (Roote, 2001). The four oxygen atoms in the perchlorate tetrahedron surround the central chlorine atom, blocking reductants from directly attacking the chlorine (Roote, 2001).

Figure 1. Large ion exchange system designed to remove perchlorate from drinking water in La Puenta, California (AFCEE, 2002).

Figure 1. Large ion exchange system designed to remove perchlorate from drinking water in La Puenta, California (AFCEE, 2002Adobe PDF Logo).

The success of a perchlorate treatment technology depends on several factors, including its concentration and the presence and concentrations of co-contaminants, water quality parameters (e.g., pH, alkalinity, natural organic matter, total dissolved solids, and metals), and geochemistry (e.g., nitrate, sulfate, chloride, dissolved oxygen, and redox potential). For in situ treatment of perchlorate, variables related to the site's hydrogeological setting (e.g., depth to and distribution of contaminants, soil permeability, and groundwater flow velocity) should be considered (Roote, 2001).

ITRC guidance Remediation Technologies for Perchlorate Contamination in Water and Soil (ITRC, 2008) summarizes several commercially-available and emerging remediation technologies for treatment of perchlorate in soil and groundwater. Since development of the ITRC guidance document, many of the recommended technologies remain the same; however, some advancements have been made. For more information on perchlorate treatment technologies, the Department of Defense (DoD's) environmental research programs fund research to address different aspects of perchlorate contamination including remediation, source identification, and measuring perchlorate in the environment.

In general, remedial technologies for perchlorate can be divided into two categories: physical processes that are designed to remove perchlorate from water for subsequent disposal, and biological technologies that degrade the perchlorate ion.

Physical Technologies for Groundwater: Physical processes for groundwater treatment include ion exchange, granular activated carbon, reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, electrodialysis, and capacitive deionization. Groundwater treatment requires a pump and treat (P&T) system to extract water for subsequent above-ground treatment, which generates a liquid or solid waste stream that requires management. To date, ion exchange is the most proven and widely accepted technology for perchlorate treatment in water. Select physical treatment technologies are summarized in the following table.

Treatment Technology Description
Ion Exchange Perchlorate ion exchange uses specially designed resins to preferentially remove perchlorate anions. The resin, which can be made of natural or synthetic material, typically contains an anion such as chloride, which is released when perchlorate preferentially binds in its place.
Granular Activated Carbon Granular activated carbon (GAC) is highly adsorbent organic material that is manufactured from high-carbon content materials (e.g., coal, wood). Traditional GAC does not sorb well to perchlorate, however, it can be modified by coating the surface of the GAC with a tailoring agent that creates a positive charge. The "tailored" GAC (T-GAC) then binds to negatively charged perchlorate anions.
Reverse Osmosis Reverse osmosis uses a semipermeable membrane operating at high pressure to demineralize water. The membrane must have a pore size smaller than the perchlorate ion. Perchlorate and other ions larger than the pore size are trapped behind the membrane and routed to treatment or disposal; water and smaller ions that pass through the filter are considered 'finished water' and are safe for use.
Nanofiltration/Ultrafiltration Nanofiltration and ultrafiltration are filtration processes with membrane pore sizes larger than the 3.5 angstrom (0.00035 micron) perchlorate molecule, therefore they are most frequently used with other technologies in a "treatment train", or a series of filtering steps for water treatment.
Electrodialysis Electrodialysis uses an electrical current to force cations towards a negatively charged anode and anions (such as perchlorate) towards a negatively charged anode. Electrodialysis can be used as a standalone technology, or as part of a treatment train.
Capacitive Deionization Capacitive deionization uses an electric field applied between electrodes to separate ions from solution. Anions (e.g., perchlorate, chlorate, nitrate) and cations (e.g., calcium, magnesium, sodium) are electrosorbed to an anode and cathode and water passes through.

Source: ITRC, 2008.

Other innovative technologies include electrolysis, ultraviolet laser reduction, ZVI reduction with UV radiation, nanoscale bimetallic particles, titanium reduction, and catalytic hydrogen gas membrane (ITRC, 2008).

Physical Technologies in Soil: Physical techniques to treat perchlorate-contaminated soil include ex situ thermal treatment and soil washing, which are summarized in the following table.

Treatment Technology Description
Ex Situ Thermal Treatment Thermal treatment involves excavating contaminated soil and heating it to encourage contaminant vaporization.
Soil Washing Soil washing involves washing contaminated soil with water. Perchlorate dissolves into the wash water, which is then treated or disposed.

Biological Technologies in Soil and Groundwater: Bioremediation of perchlorate can be implemented in situ or ex situ using perchlorate-reducing microbes to degrade perchlorate. Biodegradation of perchlorate requires anaerobic conditions, so its effectiveness will be limited in the presence of oxygen and nitrate, which inhibit activity of perchlorate-reducing microbes1 (ITRC, 2008). Biologically active barriers are one example of an in situ bioremediation technology for perchlorate in groundwater. These underground barriers are constructed with substrates that support perchlorate-reducing bacteria; they are typically installed perpendicular to the direction of groundwater flow (e.g., Fuller et al., 2019).

Shallow soil can typically be treated ex situ, which can provide better control and mixing of nutrients and carbon sources than in situ bioremediation. The contaminated soil is excavated and treated above-ground for subsequent backfilling or offsite landfill disposal. Bioreactor vessels designed to produce an effective environment for microbial degradation, can be used for ex situ biological treatment of perchlorate-contaminated water, such as that produced from treating soil via soil washing (Nair et al., 2020).

Bench-scale tests have demonstrated the potential effectiveness of phytoremediation and constructed wetlands to treat perchlorate contamination of soils and groundwater; however the presence of nitrate may add to the length of time needed to remediate perchlorate due to the inhibition of nitrate as an electron acceptor (ITRC, 2008).

Drinking Water Treatment: EPA recommends considering treatment systems that have demonstrated effective removal or destruction of perchlorate in drinking water: ion exchange, biological treatment, reverse osmosis, point-of-use and point of entry reverse osmosis (EPA, 2020). EPA's Drinking Water Treatability Database (TDB) identifies effective drinking water treatment processes by contaminant and includes ammonium perchlorate. The TDB also provides a chemical-specific repository of bench-, pilot-, and full-scale studies of surface water, groundwater, and laboratory water and can be used by drinking water utilities, design engineers, federal and state regulators, and researchers to plan for future water treatment plant upgrades and to support regulators in making Best Available Technology decisions.


Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment (AFCEE), 2002. Adobe PDF LogoPerchlorate Treatment Technology Fact Sheet: Ion Exchange. August, 3 pp.

EPA, 2020. Adobe PDF LogoSteps Water Systems Can Take to Address Perchlorate in Drinking Water. EPA 815-F-20-001, 4 pp.

Fuller, et al., 2019. Passive In Situ Biobarrier for Treatment of Comingled Nitramine Explosives and Perchlorate in Groundwater on an Active Range. Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 365, pp.827-834.

Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC), 2008. Remediation Technologies for Perchlorate Contamination in Water and Soil. Report PERC-2, 218 pp.

Nair, et al., 2020. A Novel Ex Situ Bioremediation Process for Perchlorate Contaminated Soil. Chemosphere, Volume 247, 125947.

Nelson, Y., K. Croyle, M. Billings, A. Caughey, M. Poltorak, A. Donald, and N. Johnson, 2014. Adobe PDF LogoFeasibility of Natural Attenuation for the Remediation of Soil Contaminants at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering California Polytechnic State University for DoE, 149 pp.

Roote, D.S., 2001. Adobe PDF LogoTechnology Status Report, Perchlorate Treatment Technologies. 1st ed. Ground-Water Remediation Technologies Analysis Center.


General Resources

Adobe PDF LogoRemediation Technologies for Perchlorate Contamination in Water and Soil
Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council, 2008

This document reviews technologies applicable to the remediation of perchlorate in water and soil to provide industry, responsible parties, and state and federal environmental regulators with reliable guidance to help streamline the review and approval process for selecting and implementing perchlorate treatment technologies.

Adobe PDF LogoField and Laboratory Evaluation of the Potential for Monitored Natural Attenuation of Perchlorate in Groundwater Final Technical Report.
Solutions-Industrial & Environmental Solutions, Inc, 2007. ESTCP Project ER-0428, 118 pp.

Adobe PDF LogoPerchlorate (ClO4-) Treatment Technologies Literature Review: Operable Unit 1 Expanded Treatability Study
NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA. 69 pp, 2006

This literature review provides an assessment of the development status of various biological, physical, chemical, and thermal treatment technologies used for the removal of perchlorate from groundwater.

Perchlorate Environmental Occurrence, Interactions and Treatment
Gu, B., and J.D. Coates (Eds.) Springer, Boston, MA, ISBN 978-0-387-31114-2, ISBN 978-0-387-31113-5, 411 pp, 2006

This book summarizes the current knowledge and understanding of the extent and potential sources of perchlorate contamination, its behavior, exposure pathways in the environment, toxicology and risk assessment, and treatment technologies for removing perchlorate.

Adobe PDF LogoPerchlorate Treatment Technology Update
EPA Federal Facilities Forum, EPA 542-R-05-015, 84 pp, 2005

This issue paper provides information about technologies available for treatment of perchlorate contamination in environmental media, including technologies that have been used to date and others that show potential for treating such contamination. Furthermore, this paper provides site-specific information on 51 projects where treatment technologies have been or are being applied for full-scale treatment or field demonstrations.

Microbial Perchlorate Reduction: Rocket-Fueled Metabolism
John D. Coates and Laurie A. Achenbach
Nature Reviews | Microbiology Volume 2 | July 2004 | 569

Adobe PDF LogoPerchlorate Contamination Treatment Alternatives
California Environmental Protection Agency, 24 pp, 2004

Assessing the Outlook for Perchlorate Remediation
Logan, B.E.
Environmental Science & Technology 35(23):482A-487A(2001)

This article discusses the environmental occurrence and health effects of perchlorate contamination and describes a variety of technologies that are emerging for the treatment of contaminated soil and groundwater. [This link to the article has been provided with the permission of the American Chemical Society.]

Issues in Managing the Risks Associated with Perchlorate in Drinking WaterAdobe PDF Logo
Urbansky, E.T. and M.R. Schock
Journal of Environmental Management 56:79-95(1999)

Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment Perchlorate Treatment Technology Fact Sheets


Adobe PDF LogoBISC Semi-Annual Monitoring and Performance Report, Rev. 1: July 1 to December 31, 2017
Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, 178 pp, 2018

Groundwater treatment system operation is based at a 9,000 square foot building located within a 1.77-acre site in Henderson. The treatment system comprises 14 extraction wells, a water handling and fluidized bed reactor (FBR) treatment plant, and a discharge system.

Adobe PDF LogoTailored Granular Activated Carbon Treatment of Perchlorate in Drinking Water
Lutes, C.C., T. Henderson, D.S. Liles, D. Garcia, R. Clayton, J. Patterson, R. Parette, F.S. Cannon, M. Goltz, D. Craig, D. Felker, W. Powell, M. Downen, J. Graham, T. Peschman, S. Berrum, D. Gillen, and S. Marshall. ESTCP Project ER-200546, 265 pp, 2010

The tailoring process adsorbs surfactants with quaternary ammonium groups to GAC, which dramatically increases its perchlorate removal capacity while simultaneously allowing it to remove VOCs. ESTCP Cost & Performance ReportAdobe PDF Logo

Evaluation of an Innovative Technology for Treatment of Water Contaminated with Perchlorate and Organic Compounds
Downen, M.A., Master's thesis, Air Force Institute of Technology, 153 pp, 2009

This thesis discusses case studies of granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment of co-mingled contaminant plumes at Edwards AFB, Stringfellow Superfund site, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Massachusetts Military Reservation.

Adobe PDF LogoNatural Attenuation of Perchlorate in Groundwater: Processes, Tools and Monitoring Techniques: Protocol Report
Lieberman, M.T. and R.C. Borden. ESTCP Project ER-0428, 80 pp, 2008

This document provides information on fate, transport, and transformation of perchlorate in different geochemical environments; emerging and/or specialized technologies for evaluating perchlorate attenuation in groundwater; and a tiered approach for evaluating MNA of perchlorate. ESTCP Cost and Performance ReportAdobe PDF Logo; Indian Head Site DemonstrationAdobe PDF Logo; Elkton Site DemonstrationAdobe PDF Logo

Monitored Natural Attenuation of Inorganic Contaminants in Ground Water, Volume 2: Assessment for Non-Radionuclides, Including Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Lead, Nickel, Nitrate, Perchlorate, and Selenium
Ford, R.G., R.T. Wilkin, and R.W. Puls, EPA 600-R-07-140, 124 pp, 2007

In a separate chapter for each listed contaminant, Volume 2 of 3 describes (1) the natural immobilization or degradation processes that can result in the attenuation of the contaminant and (2) data requirements to be met during site characterization. The document emphasizes characterization of immobilization and/or degradation processes that may control contaminant attenuation, as well as technical approaches to assess performance characteristics of the MNA remedy.


A Low-Cost In-Situ Bioremediation Process for Perchlorate Contaminated Aqueous Phase (Abstract)
Russel, J.G. and K. Bhaskaran.
Journal of Hazardous Materials 442:130035(2023)

A bench-scale study evaluated the efficiency of a low-cost in situ bioremediation process for perchlorate contamination in the aqueous phase. The two-stage process unit comprises an anaerobic leach bed unit (5.3 L) to generate leachate and an anaerobic filter bed unit (10 L) inoculated with an isolated perchlorate-reducing Serratia marcescens. Organic leachate produced from anaerobic digestion of vegetable waste served as a sole substrate for perchlorate reduction and needle-felt natural fiber was used as a filter bed medium. The filter bed unit removed 98.5% of perchlorate at 10 mg/L initial concentration (volumetric loading, 39 mg/L/day) at an optimal soluble chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration of 40 mg/L in the leachate with a hydraulic retention time of 6.15 h. Controlled leachate delivery results in an effluent COD < 20 mg/L, reducing the risk of residual organic contamination in the treated water. Considering the many advantages, this approach could be more feasible for treating perchlorate-contaminated aquifers, streams, and surface canals.

Adobe PDF LogoFull-Scale Fixed-Bed Biological Perchlorate Destruction Demonstration: Construction of a Fixed-Bed Bioreactor Wellhead Treatment System
Brown, J. ESTCP Project ER-201169, 94 pp, 2019

The efficacy of a 2-stage, fixed-bed biological treatment (FXB) system to address perchlorate-contaminated groundwater was evaluated at a facility in Rialto, Calif., alongside a fluidized bed bioreactor to enable comparison of the performance of the two biological treatment systems.

Adobe PDF LogoPerchlorate Destruction and Potable Water Production Using Membrane Biofilm Reduction and Membrane Filtration
Evans, P., J. Smith, T. Singh, H. Hyung, C. Arucan, D. Berokoff, D. Friese, R. Overstreet, R Vigo, B. Rittman, A. Ontiveros-Valencia, H.-P. Zhao, Y. Tang, B.-O Kim, S. Van Ginkel, and R. Krajmalnik-Brown. ESTCP Project ER-200541, 384 pp, 2013

The project successfully demonstrated the feasibility of a membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) to destroy perchlorate and nitrate in groundwater via anoxic autotrophic biodegradation and produce potable water at the pilot scale. Final Report AddendumAdobe PDF Logo

Adobe PDF LogoComparative Demonstration of Active and Semi-Passive In Situ Bioremediation Approaches for Perchlorate Impacted Groundwater: Active In Situ Bioremediation Demonstration (Aerojet Facility)
Cox, E. and T. Krug. ESTCP Project ER-200219, 848 pp, 2012

During the demonstration of active enhanced in situ bioremediation at the inactive Rancho Cordova test site in California, groundwater containing perchlorate and TCE was extracted from the shallow aquifer, amended with ethanol, and recharged to the shallow aquifer.

Adobe PDF LogoField Demonstration of a Novel Biotreatment Process for Perchlorate Reduction in Groundwater
Deshusses, M.A. and M.R. Matsumoto. ESTCP, Project ER-200636, 68 pp, 2010

A trailer-mounted pilot demonstration system was designed, built, and mobilized at Well #2 in Rialto, CA, to address perchlorate-contaminated groundwater using autotrophic perchlorate-reducing bacteria immobilized on ZVI. ESTCP Cost and Performance ReportAdobe PDF Logo

Adobe PDF LogoComparative Demonstration of Active and Semi-Passive In Situ Bioremediation Approaches for Perchlorate-Impacted Groundwater (Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant)
E. Cox, T. Krug, and D. Bertrand. ESTCP Project ER-0219, 329 pp, 2009

The project goal was to demonstrate the efficacy of semi-passive enhanced in situ bioremediation (EISB) of perchlorate in groundwater at a scale large enough to generate accurate full-scale design and cost information for widespread technology consideration and application.

In Situ Bioremediation of Perchlorate in Groundwater
H. Stroo and C.H. Ward (eds.). Springer New York, ISBN: 978-0-387-84920-1, 250 pp, 2009

An overview of the current state of understanding of perchlorate remediation is followed by a discussion of basic principles of microbial and abiotic processes and the engineering and implementation issues underlying the technologies described.

Adobe PDF LogoIn Situ Bioremediation of Perchlorate in Groundwater
Hatzinger, P. and J. Diebold. ESTCP Project ER-0224, 536 pp, 2009

A field demonstration was conducted to evaluate the in situ biological reduction of perchlorate and co-contaminant TCE using a horizontal flow treatment well (HFTW) system to mix electron donor into perchlorate-contaminated groundwater by recirculating the groundwater. ESTCP Cost and Performance ReportAdobe PDF Logo.

Adobe PDF LogoIn Situ Bioremediation of Perchlorate in Vadose Zone Soil Using Gaseous Electron Donors
Evans, P., H. Cai, K. Hopfensperger, E. Opitz, T. Titus, and R. Brennan. ESTCP Project ER-0511, 638 pp, 2009

Gaseous electron donor injection technology (GEDIT) involves injection of gaseous electron donors (e.g., hydrogen) into the soil to promote anaerobic biodegradation of perchlorate to water and chloride ion. ESTCP Cost and Performance ReportAdobe PDF Logo; Final Report Addendum (2012)Adobe PDF Logo

Adobe PDF LogoDirect Fixed-Bed Biological Perchlorate Destruction Demonstration
Brown, J., C. Lauderdale, G. Estavo, A. Ettori, W. Shih, S. Poust, S. Walker, L. Raskin, G. Upadhyaya, X. Li, and E. Morgenroth. ESTCP Project ER-0544, 168 pp, 2008

In 2007, a 10-month demonstration study was initiated in Rialto, CA, that used two first-stage, parallel fixed-bed (FXB) bioreactors to remove perchlorate from groundwater. Effluent from these reactors was dosed with hydrogen peroxide to reoxygenate and oxidize residual organics and hydrogen sulfide, and then passed through a biofilter to oxidize any remaining organics and sulfide and to remove turbidity. ESTCP Cost and Performance Report

Final New Pretreatment Plant Pilot-Scale Testing Summary Report, Stringfellow Site, Glen Avon, California
California Department of Toxic Substances Control, 159 pp, July 2008

The soil and groundwater of this former Class I industrial waste disposal facility are contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, perchlorate, NDMA, p- CBSA, organochlorine pesticides, chlorinated ethenes, chlorinated benzenes, and heavy metals. The new pretreatment plant pilot-scale testing program successfully field tested a sequential anoxic/aerobic biotreatment process.

Adobe PDF LogoProkaryotic cDNA Subtraction: A Method to Rapidly Identify Functional Gene Biomarkers
Kirisits, M.J., K.A. Kinney, and S.K. De Long. SERDP Project ER-1563, 42 pp, 2008

This report discusses the utility of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and quantitative PCR (qPCR) to further improvements in monitoring and understanding perchlorate reduction in a biological system.

Rapid Full-Scale Bioremediation of Perchlorate in Soil at a Large Brownfields Site Abstract
P.J. Evans, I. Lo, A.E. Moore, W.J. Weaver, W.F. Grove, and H. Amini.
Remediation Journal 18(2):9-25(2008)

The general approach to perchlorate remediation of shallow soil at the former Bermite site north of Los Angeles, CA, involves excavation of affected soils followed by ex situ bioremediation.

Adobe PDF LogoProtocol for Enhanced In Situ Bioremediation Using Emulsified Edible Oil
Borden, R. ESTCP Project ER-200221, 100 pp, 2006

Adobe PDF LogoStatus Report on Innovative In Situ Treatment Technologies Available to Treat Perchlorate-Contaminated Groundwater
Hoponick, J.R. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division, 2006

This report provides information regarding the in situ remediation of perchlorate-contaminated groundwater. The case studies are designed to serve as examples of successful in situ bioremediation projects that were designed differently and located at separate sites.

Biological PRB Used for Perchlorate Degradation in Ground Water
Craig, M. and A. Jacobs. Technology News and Trends Newsletter, EPA 542-N-04-001, 2004

Adobe PDF LogoField Demonstration of In Situ Perchlorate Bioremediation at Building 1419
Cramer, R.J., C. Yates, P. Hatzinger, and J. Diebold. NOSSA-TR-2004-001, 84 pp, 2004.

Optimizing of In Situ Bioremediation Technology to Manage Perchlorate-Contaminated Groundwater
Knarr, M.R., Master's thesis, Air Force Institute of Technology, 113 pp, 2003

A technology model has been developed that combines the HFTW-induced aeration and volatilization effects of ground-water recirculation with in situ biodegradation processes that result from using the HFTWs to mix electron donor into perchlorate-contaminated ground water.

Adobe PDF LogoA Systematic Approach to In Situ Bioremediation in Groundwater Including Decision Trees on In Situ Bioremediation for Nitrates, Carbon Tetrachloride, and Perchlorate
Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council In Situ Bioremediation Team, Report ISB-8, 158 pp, 2002

This ITRC Technical Guidance describes a systematic approach for evaluating the feasibility and effectiveness of in situ bioremediation in groundwater. A section of this document is devoted to perchlorate and the remediation of perchlorate contaminated groundwater.

Adobe PDF LogoApplication of Horizontal Flow Treatment Wells for In Situ Treatment of Perchlorate Contaminated Groundwater
Parr, J.C. Master's thesis, Air Force Institute of Technology, 155 pp, 2002

This report describes a research project conducted by the Air Force Institute of Technology to investigate how a horizontal flow treatment well system can be used to treat perchlorate-contaminated groundwater.

Adobe PDF LogoCase Study of Ex-Situ Biological Treatment of Perchlorate-Contaminated Groundwater
Polk, J., C. Murray, C. Onewokae, D.E. Tolbert, A.P. Togna, W.J. Guarini, S. Frisch, and M. Del Vecchio. 4th Tri-Services Environmental Technology Symposium, 18-20 June, San Diego, CA, 6 pp, 2001

This paper describes laboratory studies conducted on a biological fluidized bed reactor (FBR) system used to treat perchlorate-contaminated groundwater from Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant (LHAAP).

Kinetics of Perchlorate- and Chlorate-Respiring Bacteria
Logan, B.E., H. Zhang, P. Mulvaney, M. G. Milner, I.M. Head, and R.F. Unz.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 67(6):2499-2506(2001)

This article presents a study that was conducted to obtain the growth rates of perchlorate-reducing bacteria using electron acceptors other than perchlorate. Reprinted with permission from the American Society for Microbiology. Please visit the American Society for Microbiology Website

Adobe PDF LogoPhase 2 Treatability Study Report — Aerojet GET E/F Treatment Facility
Harding ESE Engineering and Environmental Services for EPA Region 9, 574 pp, 2001

This report describes the second phase of the perchlorate treatability study conducted at the Aerojet facility in Rancho Cordova, California. The objectives of the Phase 2 Treatability Study were to 1) demonstrate that the technology identified in the Phase 1 Study could effectively and reliably produce potable water, 2) confirm the treatment efficiency of each unit process in the treatment train, and 3) collect data to develop design criteria for a full-scale treatment facility. (Also see: Phase 1 Treatability Study Report – Perchlorate in GroundwaterAdobe PDF Logo and Review of Phase 2 Treatability StudyAdobe PDF Logo)

Adobe PDF LogoPilot Scale In-Situ Bioremediation Of Perchlorate-Contaminated Soils At The Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant
Nzengung, V.A., K.C. Das, and J.R. Kastner, The University of Georgia, 28 pp, 2001

This report describes treatability studies conducted to identify suitable carbon sources for treating perchlorate-contaminated soils at the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant. A series of bench-scale experiments were also conducted to measure the kinetics of perchlorate removal in the soil.

Adobe PDF LogoReview of Phase 2 Treatability Study – Aerojet Facility, Rancho Cordova, California
Clark, R., M. Kavanaugh, P. McCarty, and R.R. Trussell. Expert Panel Final Report for Aerojet, 29 pp, 2001

Adobe PDF LogoAmmonium Perchlorate Biodegradation for Industrial Wastewater Treatment
Hurley, J. ESTCP Project ER-199710, 47 pp, 2000

This report summarizes the cost and performance of a perchlorate biodegradation demonstration project conducted at Tyndall AFB and Thiokol Corporation's production plant in Brigham City, Utah.

Adobe PDF LogoBiological Treatment of Perchlorate-contaminated Groundwater Using Fluidized Bed Reactors
Hatzinger, P.B., M.R. Greene, S. Frisch, A.P. Togna, J. Manning, and W.J. Guarini | 2nd International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds, Monterey, California, 22-25 May, abstract, 2000

Adobe PDF LogoOptimization of Perchlorate Biodegradation: Performance and Cost Assessment for the Thiokol Prototype
Coppola, E.N., A.M. Davis, J.A. Rine, and G.W. Startzell. Air Force Research Laboratory Report SSG 32.06, 29 pp, 2000

This report describes research conducted to optimize a biological perchlorate treatment process that was previously tested at Tyndall AFB.

Adobe PDF LogoPhase 1 Treatability Study Report Perchlorate in Groundwater Baldwin Park Operable Unit San Gabriel Basin
Harding Lawson Associates Engineering and Environmental Services, Project No. 46719.401, 302 pp, 1999

This report describes the first phase of a perchlorate treatability study conducted in Rancho Cordova, California for the Baldwin Park Operable Unit Steering Committee. (Also see: Phase 2 Treatability Study Report – Aerojet GET E/F Treatment FacilityAdobe PDF Logo and Review of Phase 2 Treatability StudyAdobe PDF Logo)

Adobe PDF LogoA Review of Chlorate- and Perchlorate-Respiring Microorganisms
Logan, B.E.
Bioremediation Journal 2(2):69-79(1998)

This article discusses the characteristics of mixed cultures and isolates of microorganisms and their potential for treating wastewater and drinking water. [This article is posted here with the permission of CRC Press LLC.]

Adobe PDF LogoOperational Implementation of Ammonium Perchlorate Biodegradation
Air Force Research Laboratory, Airbase & Environmental Technology Division, 62 pp, 1998

This report describes a demonstration project that was conducted to provide a production-scale, operational validation of a perchlorate treatment process developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Adobe PDF LogoPerchlorate Remediation at a DOD Facility
Hall, P.J., 11 pp

This report describes a methanol-fed biological reactor that is being used at a Department of Defense facility to treat perchlorate-contaminated groundwater.

Ion Exchange/Resin Technologies

Adobe PDF LogoDemonstration of Regenerable, Large-scale Ion Exchange System Using WBA Resin in Rialto, CA
Rine, J., E. Coppola, and A. Davis. ESTCP Project ER-201168, 96 pp, 2012

The WBA IX process comprises three unit operations: pretreatment (pH and alkalinity reduction), ion exchange with two packed-bed vessels configured in series (multi-barrier perchlorate removal), and post-treatment (restoration of pH and alkalinity). The demonstration system was integrated with Rialto No. 3 as a pre-treatment to the existing single-use ion exchange system.

Adobe PDF LogoIntegrated Ion Exchange Regeneration Process for Drinking Water
Lutes, C., T. Henderson, C. Singer, D. Garcia, N. Pollack, C. Chiang, and B. Gu. ESTCP Project ER-0545, 383 pp, 2010

An ion exchange (IX) process for perchlorate treatment in drinking water, regeneration of spent IX resin for re-use, and destruction of perchlorate in the spent regeneration fluid to create an integrated IX regeneration process was demonstrated was at an operating municipal water treatment plant, Fontana Water Company, in Fontana, CA. ESTCP Cost and Performance ReportAdobe PDF Logo

Adobe PDF LogoPerchlorate Remediation Using New Nanoscale Polymer Technology
Mueller, A. SERDP Project ER-1599, 87 pp, Nov 2009

Priostar® Dendrigraft Polymer, a scalable dendritic polymer-based filtration material, has a high capacity for the selective extraction of perchlorate ions from groundwater. The resin has binding sites not only on the surface but throughout the volume of the resin particle, resulting in large capacity.

Adobe PDF LogoPerchlorate Removal, Destruction, and Field Monitoring Demonstration
ESTCP Project CU-0312, 150 pp, 2006

Adobe PDF LogoTreatment of Perchlorate-Contaminated Groundwater Using Highly-Selective, Regenerable Anion-Exchange Resins at Edwards Air Force Base
Gu, B. G.M. Brown, and Y.-K. Ku. ORNL/TM-2002/53, 34 pp, 2003.

Adobe PDF LogoNitrate and Perchlorate Removal from Groundwater by Ion Exchange Pilot Testing and Cost Analysis
Burge, S. and R. Halden, University of Idaho Moscow, Report UCRL-ID-135639, 97 pp, 1999

This report documents a study that was conducted at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Site 300 to evaluate the ability of an ion exchange unit to remove nitrate and perchlorate from groundwater.

Adobe PDF LogoSelective Anion Exchange Resins for the Removal of Perchlorate ClO4- from Groundwater
Gu, B., M. Brown, S.D. Alexander, R. Ober, and V. Patel. Environmental Sciences Division Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ORNL/TM-13753, 39 pp, 1999

This report describes laboratory and field flow-through experiments that were conducted to compare the performance of commercially available synthetic anion exchange resins with a new bifunctional resin developed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee.

Multiple Technologies

Adobe PDF LogoDemonstration of a Fluidized Bed Bioreactor for the Treatment of Perchlorate at Low Concentrations in Groundwater
T.S. Webster and P. Togna. ESTCP Project ER-0543, 255 pp, 2009

A demonstration study conducted in California at the City of Rialto Wellhead #2 to treat perchlorate-contaminated groundwater successfully demonstrated complete treatment of nitrate and perchlorate to drinking water standards using a fluidized bed biological reactor (FBR) treatment train.

Biological Reduction of Perchlorate in Ion Exchange Regenerant Solutions Containing High Salinity and Ammonium Levels
Gingras, T.M. and J.R. Batista.
Journal of Environmental Monitoring 4(1):96-101(2002)

This article discusses the capability of a microbial culture to degrade perchlorate in ion exchange regenerant solutions with high salinity and ammonium levels. [The link to this article has been provided with the permission of the Royal Society of Chemistry].

Adobe PDF LogoTechnology Status Report, Perchlorate Treatment Technologies, First Edition (and Appendix)
Roote, D.S.
Ground-Water Remediation Technologies Analysis Center Status Report TS-01-01, 157 pp, 2001.

This report provides an update on the activities in the research and demonstration of perchlorate treatment methods. The appendix to this report contains project summaries and lists of reports and publications for the sixty-five perchlorate treatment technology projects in its case study database.

Permeable Reactive Barriers

Adobe PDF LogoPassive Biobarrier for Treating Co-mingled Perchlorate and RDX in Groundwater at an Active Range
Hatzinger, P.B. and M.E. Fuller. ESTCP Project ER-201028, 225 pp, 2016

A field demonstration was undertaken to investigate the performance of a passive emulsified oil biobarrier (EOS 550LS plus CoBupH, a slow-release buffering agent) to remediate commingled perchlorate, RDX, and HMX in the naturally acidic groundwater at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren (Virginia). Additional information: ESTCP Cost and Performance ReportAdobe PDF Logo

Adobe PDF LogoDevelopment of Permeable Reactive Barriers (PRB) Using Edible Oils
Borden, R.C. SERDP Project ER-1205, 159 pp, 2008

A detailed field pilot test was conducted to evaluate the use of an emulsified oil biobarrier to enhance the in situ anaerobic biodegradation of perchlorate and chlorinated solvents in groundwater.

Adobe PDF LogoEdible Oil Barriers for Treatment of Perchlorate Contaminated Groundwater
Borden, R.C., C.E. Zawtocki, and M.T. Lieberman. ESTCP Project ER-0221, 196 pp, 2006

This final technical report documents the demonstration of emulsified edible oil barriers for treating perchlorate contaminated groundwater remediation at a confidential perchlorate site in Maryland.

Use Of a Unique Biobarrier to Remediate Nitrate and Perchlorate in Groundwater
Strietelmeier, B.A. | 2001 International Containment and Remediation Conference, 10-13 June, Orlando, FL, 26 slides, 2001

This presentation describes work conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory using a biobarrier to destroy nitrate in contaminated ground water and to investigate the potential for perchlorate reduction using the same technique.


Adobe PDF LogoPhytoremediation and Bioremediation of Perchlorate at the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant
Schnoor, J.L, G.F. Parkin, C.L. Just, B. van Aken, and J.D. Shrout. University of Iowa, 50 pp, 2002

This report describes efforts carried out by the University of Iowa to investigate the uptake and fate of perchlorate in poplar trees and to assess the transformation of perchlorate by microorganisms.

Adobe PDF LogoPotential Species for Phytoremediation of Perchlorate
Susarla, S., S.T. Bacchus, S.C. McCutcheon, and N.L. Wolfe, EPA National Exposure Research Laboratory, EPA/600/R-99/069, 58 pp, 1999

This report describes three laboratory scale experiments intended to evaluate the ability of selected plants to remove perchlorate from an aqueous solution, compare the performance of one plant species at various ages, evaluate the role of nutrients on perchlorate removal, determine the fate of perchlorate removed from solution, observe plant responses to perchlorate, and predict field-scale performance of the plant species evaluated.

Laboratory Characterization of Phyto-transformation Products of Perchloroethylene (PCE), Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Perchlorate
Nzengung ,V.A. For US Airforce, Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton, OH and EPA NERL, 1998

This report describes part of a laboratory phytoremediation project conducted at the University of Georgia to investigate the use of woody plants and herbs to remediate perchlorate-contaminated groundwater.

Adobe PDF LogoPhytoremediation of Perchlorate Contaminated Soils and Water
Nzengung, V.A. Air Force Research Laboratory and the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc, 47 pp

This report describes studies conducted at the University of Georgia with funding provided by the Wright Patterson AFB. The data collected by these studies indicates that selected woody, edible, and aquatic plants and microbial mats can be used to remediate environments contaminated with perchlorate.

Thermal Decomposition

Hydrothermal/Thermal Decomposition of Perchlorate
Li, L. and E.N. Coppola, SBIR Project 68D99032, 2000

This report describes a project to demonstrate the decomposition of perchlorate in ion exchange regenerant solutions by means of hydrothermal and thermal processes.

Helpful Definitions

  1. Perchlorate-reducing microbes are microscopic organisms capable of growth through respiration of perchlorate rather than oxygen (ITRC, 2008). ↩

  2. Perchlorate-reducing microbes are microscopic organisms capable of growth through respiration of perchlorate rather than oxygen (ITRC, 2008). ↩

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