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BIOPLUME III is a two-dimensional contaminant transport model for use under the influence of oxygen, nitrate, iron, sulfate, and methanogenic biodegradation.


Processes include the following:

  • Advection
  • Dispersion
  • Sorption
  • First order decay
  • Biodegradation through instantaneous, first order, zero order, or Monod kinetics

BIOPLUME III is based on the U.S. Geological Survey solute transport code MOC and solves the solute transport equation six times to determine the fate and transport of the hydrocarbons and the electron acceptors (O2, NO3-, Fe3+, SO42-, and CO2) and the reaction by-products (Fe2+). A number of aerobic and anaerobic electron acceptors, such as oxygen, nitrate, sulfate, iron (III) and carbon dioxide, have been considered in this model to simulate the biodegradation of organic contaminants. Three different kinetic expressions can be used to simulate the aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation reactions. These include first-order decay, instantaneous reaction, and Monod kinetics. The principal of superposition is used to combine the hydrocarbon plume with the electron acceptor plumes.

The model has been integrated with a sophisticated groundwater modeling platform known as EIS. A graphical user platform allows the user to create, enter, and edit data for model simulation. The input parameters of the model are discretization of time and space, hydrogeologic characteristics of the aquifer, initial and boundary conditions, sources and sinks, sorption, source decay, radioactive decay, ion-exchange and biodegradation variables.

BIOPLUME III  generates a standard output file that lists the results from a specific model run. This output file lists the input data for the run followed by computed head and concentration maps. Simulation results are also shown graphically. Data can be extracted and used in conjunction with a graphics generation software program to generate graphical results from the model.

Version 1.0
Release Date September 1997
Development Status General Release
Operating System Windows 95/98

Minimum System Requirements

To run BIOPLUME III, you will need the following:

  • IBM-compatible personal computer with a 486 processor (or faster)
  • 800 MB or larger hard (fixed) disk
  • At least 8 MB of RAM; 16 MB if you are using memory-resident programs on a network or Windows 95/98
  • A Microsoft Windows-compatible graphics adapter and a compatible color graphics monitor
  • Microsoft DOS Version 3.0 or higher
  • Windows-compatible mouse
  • Windows-compatible printer

Your computer should be set up and running MS Windows 3.x, 95 or 98. The BIOPLUME III graphical user interface consists of several .EXE and .DLL files. All Bioplume III graphical platform software runs on Windows 3.x, 95 and 98. The Bioplume3.exe file runs on Windows 95 and 98. It also runs on Windows 3.x if the Win32s library is installed. The Win32s library is available from Microsoft (it can be downloaded from their Web site). Even so, some network Windows 3.11 versions exhibit problems in running Bioplume3.exe (fatal Windows exception, returning to DOS). The preferred medium for running BIOPLUME III is Windows 95 or 98.


Installation and Program Files (EXE)(2 MB)

US EPA. (1998) BIOPLUME III, Natural Attenuation Decision Support System – User’s Manual, Version 1.0." Publication No. EPA/600/R-98/010.

Procedure for creating SURFER-compatible grid files from BIOPLUME III input/output graphics (XLS)(139 K)  (This spreadsheet requires Excel 97 or 2000.)

Addendum I, BIOPLUME III Graphics Conversion to SURFER Format

Installation Instructions

  1. Refer to the BIOPLUME III user's manual for further instructions.
  2. Go to Windows Explorer and create a directory named BIOPLUME III.
  3. Download the user's manual, installation program, and instructions to the new directory.
  4. In the new directory, double-click on the bioplume3.exe file. Click on the Extract button; this will unzip the files into the same directory.
  5. Install BIOPLUME III by double-clicking on the install.exe file and following the on-screen instructions. The install procedure will create a sub directory named BIOPLUME on the drive of your choice, and will decompress all the executable files needed to run the program. Then the installation program will copy in this new directory all the files required to run the different tutorials. Once the installation procedure is completed, you will be automatically placed in the new sub-directory. To properly run the platform, you will need at least 3 MB of available memory on your hard disk. To check whether everything is running properly, test run the program. A group application platform will be created automatically by the install program. Double-click on the icon representing the BIOPLUME III program. This will activate the platform to run under MS-Windows 3.x, 95 or 98. Now you are ready to consult sections 2.2 and 2.3 of the user’s manual to quickly navigate through the program and check that everything is properly installed.
  6. Review the user's manual for instructions on running the model.

In order to run the programs, the following command must be included in the file CONFIG.SYS on your system disk: DEVICE = ANSI.SYS

Note: The file ANSI.SYS, included with the DOS package, must reside in the same directory as CONFIG.SYS. Otherwise, a pathname must be included in the file. Please refer to your DOS reference manual for details on this command.