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Effect of a non-ionic surfactant on biodegradation of slowly desorbing PAHs in contaminated soils

AuthorsBueno Montes, M.; Springael, D.; Ortega Calvo, J. J.
Issue Date2011
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
CitationEnvironmental Science and Technology 45(7): 3019-3026 (2011)
AbstractThe influence of the nonionic surfactant Brij 35 on biodegradation of slowly desorbing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was determined in contaminated soils. We employed a soil originated from a creosote-polluted site, and a manufactured gas plant soil that had been treated by bioremediation. The two soils differed in their total content in five indicator 3-, 4-, and 5-ring PAHs (2923 mg kg(-1) and 183 mg kg(-1) in the creosote-polluted and bioremediated soils, respectively) but had a similar content (140 mg kg(-1) vs 156 mg kg(-1)) of slowly desorbing PAHs. The PAHs present in the bioremediated soil were highly recalcitrant. The surfactant at a concentration above its critical micelle concentration enhanced the biodegradation of slowly desorbing PAHs in suspensions of both soils, but it was especially efficient with bioremediated soil, causing a 62% loss of the total PAH content. An inhibition of biodegradation was observed with the high-molecular-weight PAHs pyrene and benzo[a]pyrene in the untreated soil, possibly due to competition effects with other solubilized PAHs present at relatively high concentrations. We suggest that nonionic surfactants may improve bioremediation performance with soils that have previously undergone extensive bioremediation to enrich for a slowly desorbing profile.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1021/es1035706
issn: 0013-936X
e-issn: 1520-5851
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Artículos
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