Author(s): Penet S, Vendeuvre C, Bertoncini F, Marchal R, Monot F
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Abstract In contaminated soils, efficiency of natural attenuation or engineered bioremediation largely depends on biodegradation capacities of the local microflorae. In the present study, the biodegradation capacities of various microflorae towards diesel oil were determined in laboratory conditions. Microflorae were collected from 9 contaminated and 10 uncontaminated soil samples and were compared to urban wastewater activated sludge. The recalcitrance of hydrocarbons in tests was characterised using both gas chromatography (GC) and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC). The microflorae from contaminated soils were found to exhibit higher degradation capacities than those from uncontaminated soil and activated sludge. In cultures inoculated by contaminated-soil microflorae, 80\% of diesel oil on an average was consumed over 4-week incubation compared to only 64\% in uncontaminated soil and 60\% in activated sludge cultures. As shown by GC, n-alkanes of diesel oil were totally utilised by each microflora but differentiated degradation extents were observed for cyclic and branched hydrocarbons. The enhanced degradation capacities of impacted-soil microflorae resulted probably from an adaptation to the hydrocarbon contaminants but a similar adaptation was noted in uncontaminated soils when conifer trees might have released natural hydrocarbons. GCxGC showed that a contaminated-soil microflora removed all aromatics and all branched alkanes containing less than C(15). The most recalcitrant compounds were the branched and cyclic alkanes with 15-23 atoms of carbon.
This article was published in Biodegradation
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation