Two-Liquid-Phase Slurry Bioreactors To Enhance the Degradation of High-Molecular-Weight Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Soil

Authors

  • Richard Villemur,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre de Microbiologie et Biotechnologie, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, 531 boul. des Prairies, Laval, Québec, Canada H7V 1B7
    • Centre de Microbiologie et Biotechnologie, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, 531 boul. des Prairies, Laval, Québec, Canada H7V 1B7. Telephone: 450–687–5010 #4611. Fax: 450–686–5501
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  • Eric Déziel,

    1. Centre de Microbiologie et Biotechnologie, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, 531 boul. des Prairies, Laval, Québec, Canada H7V 1B7
    2. Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique of Montreal, P.O. Box 6079, Station Centre-ville, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3C 3A7
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  • Amine Benachenhou,

    1. Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique of Montreal, P.O. Box 6079, Station Centre-ville, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3C 3A7
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  • José Marcoux,

    1. Centre de Microbiologie et Biotechnologie, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, 531 boul. des Prairies, Laval, Québec, Canada H7V 1B7
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  • Emilie Gauthier,

    1. Centre de Microbiologie et Biotechnologie, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, 531 boul. des Prairies, Laval, Québec, Canada H7V 1B7
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  • François Lépine,

    1. Centre de Microbiologie et Biotechnologie, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, 531 boul. des Prairies, Laval, Québec, Canada H7V 1B7
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  • Réjean Beaudet,

    1. Centre de Microbiologie et Biotechnologie, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, 531 boul. des Prairies, Laval, Québec, Canada H7V 1B7
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  • Yves Comeau

    1. Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique of Montreal, P.O. Box 6079, Station Centre-ville, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3C 3A7
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Abstract

High-molecular-weight (HMW) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are pollutants that persist in the environment due to their low solubility in water and their sequestration by soil and sediments. The addition of a water-immiscible, nonbiodegradable, and biocompatible liquid, silicone oil, to a soil slurry was studied to promote the desorption of PAHs from soil and to increase their bioavailability. First, the transfer into silicone oil of phenanthrene, pyrene, chrysene, and benzo[a]pyrene added to a sterilized soil (sandy soil with 0.65% total volatile solids) was measured for 4 days in three two-liquid-phase (TLP) slurry systems each containing 30% (w/v) soil but different volumes of silicone oil (2.5%, 7.5%, and 15% [v/v]). Except for chrysene, a high percentage of these PAHs was transferred from soil to silicone oil in the TLP slurry system containing 15% silicone oil. Rapid PAH transfer occurred during the first 8 h, probably resulting from the extraction of nonsolubilized and of poorly sorbed PAHs. This was followed by a period in which a slower but constant transfer occurred, suggesting extraction of more tightly bound PAHs. Second, a HMW PAH-degrading consortium was enriched in a TLP slurry system with a microbial population isolated from a creosote-contaminated soil. This consortium was then added to three other TLP slurry systems each containing 30% (w/v) sterilized soil that had been artificially contaminated with pyrene, chrysene, and benzo[a]pyrene, but different volumes of silicone oil (10%, 20%, and 30% [v/v]). The resulting TLP slurry bioreactors were much more efficient than the control slurry bioreactor containing the same contaminated soil but no oil phase. In the TLP slurry bioreactor containing 30% silicone oil, the rate of pyrene degradation was 19 mg L−1 day−1 and no pyrene was detected after 4 days. The degradation rates of chrysene and benzo[a]pyrene in the 30% TLP slurry bioreactor were, respectively, 3.5 and 0.94 mg L−1 day−1. Low degradation of pyrene and no significant degradation of chrysene and benzo[a]pyrene occurred in the slurry bioreactor. This is the first report in which a TLP system was combined with a slurry system to improve the biodegradation of PAHs in soil.

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