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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Bioremediation and Biodegradation

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Removal from Soil by Surfactant Solubilization and Phanerochaete chrysosporium Oxidation


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 6, p. 1842-1847
    Received: Nov 22, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): chejpo@nus.edu.sg
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  1. Zhongming Zheng and
  2. Jeffrey Philip Obbard *
  1. Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, 4 Engineering Drive 4, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 129791


Surfactant soil washing can remove polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from contaminated soil, and the white rot fungus, Phanerochaete chrysosporium Burdsall in Burdsall & Eslyn, can oxidize PAHs. The objective of this study was to develop a novel bioremediation technology using a combination of abiological surfactant soil washing followed by PAH biological oxidation in soil washwater using P. chrysosporium in a rotating biological contactor (RBC) reactor. Soil used for experimentation was an 11-month aged contaminated soil spiked with a total of nine PAHs: acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene, chrysene, benzo(a)pyrene, dibenz(ah)anthracene, and benzo(ghi)perylene. After 11 months of aging, recovery percentages of high molecular weight PAHs [i.e., from chrysene to benzo(ghi)perylene] were greater than 86%, while those of low molecular weight PAHs (i.e., from acenaphthene to pyrene) were less than 19%. Total removal efficiency for any of the nine PAHs was greater than 90% using a combination of surfactant soil washing and P. chrysosporium oxidation of soil washwater in the RBC reactor when used in batch operation, and greater than 76% when used in continuous operation. The treatment of PAH-contaminated soil using a combination of surfactant soil washing and subsequent PAH removal from the resultant washwater in an RBC reactor, in the presence of immobilized P. chrysosporium, permits (i) a rapid abiological cleanup of soil for compliance with relevant soil quality standards and (ii) PAH biological removal in soil washwater for compliance with aqueous discharge standards.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:1842–1847.