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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 1, p. 118-125
    Received: July 2, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): xiaxh@bnu.edu.cn
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Effects of Suspended Sediment on the Biodegradation and Mineralization of Phenanthrene in River Water

  1. Xinghui Xia *a,
  2. Zhui Zhoua,
  3. Chuanhui Zhoua,
  4. Guohua Jiangb and
  5. Ting Liua
  1. a School of Environment, Beijing Normal Univ./State Key Lab. of Water Environment Simulation, Beijing, China 100875
    b Analytical and Testing Center, Beijing Normal Univ., Beijing, China 100875. Assigned to Associate Editor Pierre Benoit


High suspended sediment (SPS) concentration commonly exists in many Asian rivers. Furthermore, climate change can cause high floods and lead to the resuspension of sediments and soil erosion, resulting in high SPS concentration in many natural waters. This research studied the impact of the presence of SPS and organic C composition of SPS on the biodegradation and mineralization of phenanthrene (PHE). Three sediments, including original sediment (OS), 375°C (S375), and 600°C (S600) combusted sediment, were studied. A flask-based 14C–respirometer system was applied to study the mineralization of [14C]PHE by Agrobacterium sp. The mineralization rate of PHE in the absence of SPS was significantly lower than that with the presence of OS and S600 but higher than that with S375, suggesting that the effect of the presence of sediment on PHE mineralization depended on its organic C composition. The residual levels of PHE in the S375 and OS systems were about 1.5 times that of the S600 system after incubation for 2 d. After 26-d incubation, the mineralization rates of PHE were 34.64, 29.40, and 14.00% in the OS, S600, and S375 systems, respectively. The first-order rate constants of the OS and S600 systems were about three times that of the S375 system. The net influence of SPS on the biodegradation and mineralization rates of PHE was dependent on its effects on compound bioavailability and bacteria population. This study suggested that black C played a key role in reducing the mineralization rates of PHE in sediments—even without aging.

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