Chlorobenzene (CB), as a typical Volatile Organic Contaminants (VOC), is toxic, highly persistent and easily migrates in water, posing a significant risk to human health and subsurface ecosystems. Therefore, exploring effective approaches to remediate groundwater contaminated by CB is essential. As an enhanced micro-electrolysis system for CB-contaminated groundwater remediation, this study attempted to couple the iron-copper bimetal with biochar. Two series of columns using sands with different grain diameters were used, consisting of iron, copper and biochar fillings as the permeable reactive barriers (PRBs), to simulate the remediation of CB-contaminated groundwater in homogeneous and heterogeneous aquifers. Regardless of the presence of homogeneous or heterogeneous porous media, the CB concentrations in the effluent from the PRB columns were significantly lower than the natural sandy columns, suggesting that the iron and copper powders coupled with biochar particles could have a significant removal effect compared to the natural sand porous media in the first columns. CB was transported relatively quickly in the heterogeneous porous media, likely due to the fact that the contaminant residence time is proportional to the infiltration velocities in the different types of porous media. The average effluent CB concentrations from the heterogeneous porous media were lower than those from homogeneous porous media. The heterogeneity retarded the vertical infiltration of CB, leading to its extended lateral distribution. During the treatment process, benzene and phenol were observed as the products of CB degradation. The ultimate CB removal efficiency was 61.4% and 68.1%, demonstrating that the simulated PRB system with the mixture of iron, copper and biochar was effective at removing CB from homogeneous and heterogeneous aquifers.
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