Bioavailable Iron

PRIMA Environmental offers measurement of Bioavailable Iron using the New Horizons Bioavailable Ferric Iron Assay developed by CDM Smith, Bellevue, Washington.  This assay measures the amount of ferric iron in soil that can be converted to ferrous iron by iron-reducing bacteria, which may be significantly lower than total iron.

Knowledge of bioavailable iron can improve the understanding of enhanced biodegradation of PCE or TCE, including cis-DCE stall, which may occur if bioavailable ferric iron is high (Evans and Koenigsberg, 2001).  It may also be useful in understanding potential abiotic degradation of chlorinated compounds that could occur due to formation of ferrous sulfide minerals during anaerobic biodegradation, and is an important electron acceptor that can promote biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons.

More information about the assay and its potential uses may be found in the references below.


Evans, P.J. 2000. A novel ferric iron bioavailabiliity assay In International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds, vol. Advances in Analytical and Detection Techniques, ed. G. D. Wickramanayake, 167-174. Monterey: Battelle Press.

Evans, P.J. 2002. A dissolved hydrogen analyzer and and bioavailable ferric iron assay for bioremediation analysis. In Field Screening Europe 2001. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Strategies and Techniques for Investigation and Monitoring of Contaminated Sites, ed. W. Breh, J. Gottlieb, H. Hötzl, F. Kern, T. Liesch and R. Niesser, 139-144. Karlsruhe, Germany: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Evans, P.J., and S.S. Koenigsberg. 2001. A bioavailable ferric iron assay and relevance to reductive dechlorination. In International in situ and on-site bioremediation symposium, vol. Bioaugmentation, Biobarriers, and Biochemistry, ed. A. Leeson, 209-215. San Diego: Battelle Memorial Institute.

Lebron, C., P. Evans, M. Trute, R. Olsen, R. Chappell, J. Wilson, C. Adair, E. Weber, J. Kenneke, B.T. Thomas, T. DiChristina, and J. Drexler. 2005a. Cost and Performance Report. Bioavailable Ferric Iron (BAFeIII) Assay. ESTCP Project Number ER-200009.

Lebron, C., S. Sugiyama, P.J. Evans, M.M. Trute, R. Olsen, R. Chappell, J. Eisenbeis, E. Weber, J. Kenneke, T.J. DiChristina, J. Drexler, and F. Chappelle. 2005b. Final Report – ER-0009. Field Demonstration and Validation of a Bioavailable Ferric Iron Assay.


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