Development of a novel kinetic model for the analysis of PAH biodegradation in the presence of lead and cadmium co-contaminants.

Micheal E. Deary, Chinedu C. Ekumankama, Stephen Cummings

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We report on the results of a 40 week study in which the biodegradation of 16 US EPA polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was followed in microcosms containing soil of high organic carbon content (11%) in the presence and absence of lead and cadmium co-contaminants. The total spiked PAH concentration was 2166 mg/kg. Mercury amendment was also made to give an abiotic control.

    A novel kinetic model has been developed to explain the observed biphasic nature of PAH degradation. The model assumes that PAHs are distributed across soil phases of varying degrees of bioaccessibility. The results of the analysis suggest that overall percentage PAH loss is dependent on the respective rates at which the PAHs (a) are biodegraded by soil microorganisms in pore water and bioaccessible soil phases and (b) migrate from bioaccessible to non-bioaccessible soil phases. In addition, migration of PAHs to non-bioaccessible and non-Soxhlet-extractable soil phases associated with the humin pores gives rise to an apparent removal process. The presence of metal co-contaminants shows a concentration dependent inhibition of the biological degradation processes that results in a reduction in overall degradation. Lead appears to have a marginally greater inhibitory effect than cadmium.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)240-252
    JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2015

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