Biodegradation of Aliphatic Chlorinated Hydrocarbon (PCE, TCE and DCE) in Contaminated Soil.

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för tema


Soil bottles and soil slurry experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of some additives on the aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation of chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons; tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE) and dichloroethylene (DCE) in a contaminated soil from Startvätten AB Linköping Sweden. For the aerobic degradation study the soil sample was divided into two groups, one was fertilised. The two groups of soil in the experimental bottles were treated to varying amount of methane in pairs. DCE and TCE were added to all samples while PCE was found in the contaminated soil. Both aerobic and anaerobic experiments were conducted. For aerobic study air was added to all bottles to serve as electron acceptor (oxygen). It was observed that all the samples showed a very small amount of methane consumption while the fertilised soil samples showed more oxygen consumption. For the chlorinated compounds the expected degradation could not be ascertained since the control and experimental set up were more or less the same.

For the anaerobic biodegradation study soil slurry was made with different media i.e. basic mineral medium (BM), BM and an organic compound (lactate), water and sulphide, phosphate buffer and sulphide and phosphate buffer, sulphide and ammonia. To assure anaerobic conditions, the headspace in the experimental bottles was changed to N2/CO2. As for the aerobic study all the samples were added DCE and TCE while PCE was found in the contaminated soil. The sample without the soil i.e. the control was also given PCE. It was observed that there was no clear decrease in the GC peak area of the pollutants in the different media. The decrease in GC peak area of the pollutants could not be seen, this may be so because more susceptible microorganisms are required, stringent addition of nutrients and to lower the risk of the high concentration of PCE and petroleum products in the soil from Startvätten AB.

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