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Environ Technol. 2002 Sep;23(9):1033-42.

Microorganism selection and performance in bioslurry reactors treating PAH-contaminated soil.

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Department of Geosciences, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo 49008, USA.


A continuous-flow reactor (CSTR) and a soil slurry-sequencing batch reactor (SS-SBR) were operated in 81 vessels for 200 days to treat a soil contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Filtered slurry samples were used to quantify bulk biosurfactant concentrations and PAH emulsification. Concentrations of Corynebacterium aquaticum, Flavobacterium mizutaii, Mycobacterium gastri, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Pseudomonas putida were determined using fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis. The CSTR and SS-SBR selected microbial consortia with markedly different surfactant-producing and PAH-degrading abilities. Biosurfactant levels in the SS-SBR reached 4 times the critical micelle concentration (CMC) that resulted in considerable emulsification of PAH. In contrast, CSTR operation resulted in nomeasurable biosurfactant production. Total PAH removal efficiency was 93% in the SS-SBR, compared with only 66% in the CSTR, and stripping of PAH was 3 times less in the SS-SBR. Reversing the mode of operation on day 100 caused a complete reversal in microbial consortia and in reactor performance by day 140. These results show that bioslurry reactor operation can be manipulated to control overall reactor performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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