Effects of Triton X-100 and Quillaya Saponin on the ex situ bioremediation of a chronically polychlorobiphenyl-contaminated soil
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The possibility of enhancing the ex situ bioremediation of a chronically polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated soil by using Triton X-100 or Quillaya Saponin, a synthetic and a biogenic surfactant, respectively, was studied. The soil, which contained about 350 mg/kg of PCBs and indigenous aerobic bacteria capable of growing on biphenyl or on monochlorobenzoic acids, was amended with inorganic nutrients and biphenyl, saturated with water and treated in aerobic batch slurry- and fixed-phase reactors. Triton X-100 and Quillaya Saponin were added to the reactors at a final concentration of 10 g/l at the 42nd day of treatment, and at the 43rd and 100th day, respectively. Triton X-100 was not metabolised by the soil microflora and it exerted inhibitory effects on the indigenous bacteria. Quillaya Saponin, on the contrary, was readily metabolised by the soil microflora. Under slurry-phase conditions, Triton X-100 negatively influenced the soil bioremediation process by affecting the availability of the chlorobenzoic acid degrading indigenous bacteria, whereas Quillaya Saponin slightly enhanced the biological degradation and dechlorination of the soil PCBs. In the fixed-phase reactors, where both the surfactant availability and the mixing of the soil were lower, Triton X-100 did not exert inhibitory effects on the soil biomass and enhanced significantly the soil PCB depletion, whereas Quillaya Saponin did not influence the bioremediation process.
KeywordsSurfactant PCBs Biphenyl Saponin Aerobic Bacterium
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