Anaerobic Oxidation of Hydrocarbon Contaminants in Marine and Estuarine Sediments.
Final rept. 15 Nov 95-30 Sep 98
MASSACHUSETTS UNIV AMHERST DEPT OF MICROBIOLOGY
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The potential for anaerobic degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PARs in contaminated harbor sediments was investigated. PARs were anaerobically oxidize to carbon dioxide in petroleum contaminated sediments from San Diego Bay, Tampa Bay and Boston Harbor. Studies with molybdate, a specific inhibitor of sulfate reduction, as well as investigations in which sulfate levels were varied, demonstrated that PAR oxidation was coupled to sulfate reduction. Pristine harbor sediments did not have a significant potential for anaerobic PAH oxidation, but could be adapted for PAH oxidation by exposure to PAhs or inoculation with PAH-oxidizing microrganisms. Exposure of pristine sediments to PAH resulted in the growth of PAH-oxidizing microorganisms. PARs added to sediments as part of complex fuel mixtures were degraded. The alkanes in the complex fuel mixtures were also anaerobically degraded under sulfate reducing conditions. In estuarine sediments in which concentrations of sulfate were low, PAR and alkane degradation could be stimulated with the addition of sulfate. These studies have demonstrated for the first time that PARs can be oxidized under the anaerobic conditions that predominat in most contaminated harbor sediments and suggest that anaerobic strategies for
- Physical Chemistry
- Water Pollution and Control