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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Chemosphere
Volume (Issue) 244
Page(s) 125476 - 125476
Title of proceedings Chemosphere
DOI 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.125476


Many chlorinated hydrocarbons have gained notoriety as persistent organic pollutants in the environment. Engineered and natural remediation efforts require a monitoring tool to track the progress of degradation processes. Compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) is a robust method to evaluate the origin and fate of contaminants in the environment and does not rely on concentration measurements. While carbon CSIA has established itself in the routine assessment of contaminated sites, studies incorporating chlorine isotopes have only recently become more common. Although some aspects of chlorine isotope analysis are more challenging than carbon isotope analysis, having additional isotopic data yields valuable information for contaminated site management. This review provides an overview of chlorine isotope fractionation of chlorinated contaminants in the subsurface by different processes and presents analytical techniques and unresolved challenges in chlorine isotope analysis. A summary of successful field applications illustrates the potential of using chlorine isotope data. Finally, approaches in modelling chlorine isotope fractionation due to degradation, diffusion, and sorption processes are discussed.