Environmental

Oral

397428 - Bioremediation of Chemical Contaminant Mixtures

Tuesday, June 5
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Lakeshore B
Co-Authors: Claudia Gunsch, Durham, North Carolina – Duke University; Laurie Lapat-Polasko, Phoenix, Arizona – Ramboll Environ

Bioremediation is a treatment strategy that involves the removal of chemical pollutants through biological agents such as microbes. When compared to other methods, bioremediation offers economic and environmental benefits. In general, the efficacy of bioremediation may be improved by supplying exogenous microorganisms known to degrade a specific contaminant (termed bioaugmentation). Bioaugmentation can be utilized in parallel with biostimulation, augmenting both the physico-chemical and microbiological environment simultaneously, but limitations in the effectiveness of bioaugmentation remain. In general, bioaugmentation may fail to remediate sites that contain contaminant mixtures because the augmented exogenous microorganisms have difficultly surviving, as they are un-adapted to degrade or metabolize multiple contaminants. One way of addressing this limitation is by augmenting with a consortium of microbes specifically intended for the site. The work presented here focuses on the design and full-scale implementation of a consortium that is effective in situ at sites with multiple contaminants. Soil reactors were filled with creosote and heavy metal contaminated soil from Holcomb Creosote Co. Superfund site and allowed to stabilize. The natural environmental microbiome was characterized through high-throughput sequencing and qPCR. From there, four species were chosen to comprise the targeted consortium: Pseudomonas putida G7 (PpG7), Mycobacterium fredericksbergense, Novosphingobium aromaticivorans, and Acinetobacter venetianus. Then the consortium was augmented to the reactors over a series of six weeks. It was found that the targeted microbial consortium was able to improve the biodegradation of several chemical contaminants such as phenanthrene and benzo(c)phenanthrene by as much as 25% and 30%, respectively, when compared to biostimulation only. In addition, advancements currently being implemented in the field such as optimal methods of application will be presented. Overall, our results suggest targeted bioremediation is a viable option towards remediating sites with mixtures of contaminants.

Lauren Redfern

Senior Consultant 1
Ramboll Environ

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