Hydrocarbon Surface Tension
One effect of BET is that of altering hydrocarbon surface tensions so that the total surface area of the hydrocarbon is expanded. This hydrocarbon solubility effect creates the greatest propensity for ingestion and subsequent digestion by microorganisms. Research has proven that there are substantial increases in microbial growth rates and subsequent microbial population densities when the surface area of their food source (i.e. the hydrocarbon molecule) is increased.
BET increases the metabolism of the hydrocarbon degrading bacteria by introducing enzymes that enhance the metabolic processes of the bacteria. This process optimizes the uptake of nutrients by the hydrocarbon degrading bacteria.
After the bacteria are bio-chemically stimulated they become famished and are looking for food. The hydrocarbon now becomes the food source for the bacteria.
BET provides soil buffering capacity. Bioremediation would typically involve continual monitoring of pH and adjustments during the degradation process; however, BET provides some buffering capacity in a high or low pH environment. This is critical for treating contaminants located in limestone or soils containing high concentrations of carbonates where the pH is abnormally high.
Through the complex breakdown chemistry of BET, nutrients required for biological organism growth are available when needed after the enzyme component of the BET is applied. BET in itself is derived from organic material, providing biological organisms with the common food source (i.e. nitrogen, phosphorus etc.) as a stimulus for growth. As a result, BET provides all the necessary nutrients in a typical soil situation. Comparison of populations with hydrocarbon utilization, with and without BET, indicate the support of several orders of magnitude, higher population densities are achievable utilizing BET.
Increasing Dissolved Oxygen
Enhancements of dissolved oxygen are often required to achieve the most favorable environment for microbial activity and reproduction. Therefore, BET utilizes bio-sparging and/or a calcium based peroxide additive to increase the dissolved oxygen in the treatment environment.
Although BET contains only minor amounts of surfactant (<1%), through proper application, it does not disperse contamination when injected in the subsurface. Research and field data have confirmed that the dispersion of pollutants by BET is not evident under proper application. Unless substantial interstitial fluid velocities are introduced, no subsequent contamination migration would occur.