Biological Treatment of PAHs in Soil Residues in Simulated Land Treatment Systems

by Donald F. Sherman, Remediation Technologies Inc, United States,
Hans F. Stroo, Remediation Technologies Inc, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Environmental Engineering


The lower molecular weight compounds (2 and 3 ring PAHs) are readily degraded by microorganisms. The heavier molecular weight PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) compounds (4, 5 and 6 ring) are more resistant to degradation, especially when absorbed onto the soil. Various methods of enhancing the biodegradation of these heavier compounds through the addition of nutrients, inoculum, and growth inducers may provide only limited success with more recalcitrant PAHs found in contaminated soils. Although the enhancements appear to improve the degradation of the lower ring compounds, the heavier PAHs appear to remain biologically unavailable unless these compounds are first solubilized.

Subject Headings: Soil treatment | Biological processes | Hydrocarbons | Non-renewable energy | Soil pollution | Microbes | Chemical degradation | Pollution

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