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J Hazard Mater. 2008 Mar 1;151(2-3):720-9. Epub 2007 Jun 16.

Anaerobic BTEX biodegradation linked to nitrate and sulfate reduction.

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Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, PR China.


Effective anaerobic BTEX biodegradation was obtained under nitrate and sulfate reducing conditions by the mixed bacterial consortium that were enriched from gasoline contaminated soil. Under the conditions of using nitrate or sulfate as reducing acceptor, the degradation rates of the six tested substrates decreased with toluene>ethylbenzene>m-xylene>o-xylene>benzene>p-xylene. The higher concentrations of BTEX were toxic to the mixed cultures and led to reduce the degradation rates of BTEX. Benzene and p-xylene were more toxic than toluene and ethylbenzene. Nitrate was a more favorable electron acceptor compared to sulfate. The measured ratios between the amount of nitrate consumed and the amount of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, o-xylene, m-xylene, p-xylene degraded were 9.47, 9.26, 11.14, 12.46, 13.36 and 13.02, respectively. The measured ratios between sulfate reduction and BTEX degradation were 3.51, 4.33, 4.89, 4.81, 4.86 and 4.76, respectively, which were nearly the same to theoretical ones, and the relative error between the measured and calculated ratios was less than 10%.

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