Author(s): Bach QD, Kim SJ, Choi SC, Oh YS
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Abstract Estuarine sediments are frequently polluted with hydrocarbons from fuel spills and industrial wastes. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are components of these contaminants that tend to accumulate in the sediment due to their low aqueous solubility, low volatility, and high affinity for particulate matter. The toxic, recalcitrant, mutagenic, and carcinogenic nature of these compounds may require aggressive treatment to remediate polluted sites effectively. In petroleum-contaminated sediments near a petrochemical industry in Gwangyang Bay, Korea, in situ PAH concentrations ranged from 10 to 2,900 microg/kg dry sediment. To enhance the biodegradation rate of PAHs under anaerobic conditions, sediment samples were amended with biostimulating agents alone or in combination: nitrogen and phosphorus in the form of slow-release fertilizer (SRF), lactate, yeast extract (YE), and Tween 80. When added to the sediment individually, all tested agents enhanced the degradation of PAHs, including naphthalene, acenaphthene, anthracene, fluorene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene, chrysene, and benzo[a]pyrene. Moreover, the combination of SRF, Tween 80, and lactate increased the PAH degradation rate 1.2-8.2 times above that of untreated sediment (0.01-10 microg PAH/kg dry sediment/day). Our results indicated that in situ contaminant PAHs in anoxic sediment, including high molecular weight PAHs, were degraded biologically and that the addition of stimulators increased the biodegradation potential of the intrinsic microbial populations. Our results will contribute to the development of new strategies for in situ treatment of PAH-contaminated anoxic sediments.
This article was published in J Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation