Biodegradation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Petroleum Contaminated Soils

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Environmental Health , School of Health, Shahre Kord University of Medical Sciences, Shahre-kord, I.R. IRAN

2 Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Center for Environmental Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, I.R. IRAN

3 Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Lagos, NIGERIA


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are a class of potentially hazardous chemicals of environmental and health concern. PAHs are one of the most prevalent groups of contaminants found in soil. Biodegradation of complex hydrocarbon usually requires the cooperation of more than single specie. In this research biotreatment of PAH (phenanthrene) was studied in a solid-phase reactor using indigenous bacteria isolated from two petroleum contaminated sites in Iran, (i.e., Tehran refinery site with clayey-sand soil composition and Bushehr oil zone with silty-sand soil composotion). Phenanthrene (C14H10) was made in three rates (100, 500, and 1000 mg/kg of soil) synthetically and was conducted with two bacterial mixed cultures for a period of 20 weeks. Highest removal (more than 85 %) of phenanthrene with rates of 100, 500 and 1000 mg/kg in clayey-sand soil with BMTRS (Bacterial Mix of Tehran Refinery Site) consortium was achieved within 3, 5 and 14 weeks, respectively as for silty-sand soil composition with BMBOZ (Bacterial Mix of Bushehr Oil Zone) consortium was achieved within 10, 17, and 19 weeks, respectively. Results for phenanthrene biotreatment in solid phase reactor revealed a significance relationship between concentration and type of microbial consortium with the removal efficiency of phenanthrene over the time (P value<0.001). Furthermore, there was a significant relationship between soil type with removal efficiency of phenanthrene over the time (P value=0.022). That means the bioremediation of the lower concentrations of phenanthrene needs shorter time compared with the higher concentrations.  Microbial analysis using confirmative series tests and analytical profile index (API) kit tests showed the Pseudomonas fluorescence, Serratia liquefaciens, Bacillus and Micrococcus strains as dominant bacteria in the mixed cultures. 


Main Subjects

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