Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 383–391 | Cite as

Microbial communities and biodegradation in lab-scale BTEX-contaminated groundwater remediation using an oxygen-releasing reactive barrier

  • Chi-Wen Lin
  • Li-Hsuan Chen
  • Yet-Pole I
  • Chi-Yung Lai
Original Paper


To remediate benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX) -contaminated groundwater, a biotreatment process including biostimulation and bioaugmentation was simulated using oxygen-releasing reactive barriers (ORRB) and water with added BTEX in a lab-scale system. The results showed that the capability for BTEX removal decreases in the order of benzene, toluene, p-xylene, ethylbenzene for both added-nitrogen and no-added-nitrogen under BTEX concentrations at 30 mg l−1. The removal efficiencies in ORRB systems were higher in the nitrogen-added condition for biostimulation compared with the no-nitrogen-added condition; moreover, an increased pattern for removal was observed during the bioaugmentation process. The oxygen content was found to be inversely proportional to the distance from the ORRB, as evidenced by observing that the average bacteria densities were two orders higher when located at 15 cm compared with 30 cm from the ORRB. The microbial community structure was similar in both cases of added-nitrogen and the no-added-nitrogen conditions.


Biostimulation Bioaugmentation Microbial community structure Oxygen-releasing reactive barrier (ORRB) 



This study was funded by the National Science Council of the Republic of China under contract NO. NSC 96-2221-E-224-093-MY3. The authors also wish to express their appreciation to Dr. Cheryl J. Rutledge for her editorial assistance.


  1. 1.
    ATSDR (2001) Interaction profile for benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylenes (BTEX). Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, US Department of Health and Human Services, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schreiber ME, Bahr JM (2002) Nitrate-enhanced bioremediation of BTEX-contaminated groundwater: parameter estimation from natural-gradient tracer experiments. J Contam Hydrol 55:29–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mater L, Sperb RM, Madureira LAS, Rosin AP, Correa AXR, Radetski CM (2006) Proposal of a sequential treatment methodology for the safe reuse of oil sludge-contaminated soil. J Hazard Mater 136:967–971CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hristova K, Gebreyesus B, Mackay D, Scow KM (2003) Naturally occurring bacteria similar to the methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)-degrading strain PM1 are present in MTBE-contaminated groundwater. Appl Environ Microbiol 69:2616–2623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Trindade POV, Sobral LG, Rizzo ACL, Leite SGF, Soriano AU (2005) Bioremediation of a weathered and a recently oil-contaminated soils from Brazil: a comparison study. Chemosphere 58:515–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gavaskar AR (1999) Design and construction techniques for permeable reactive barriers. J Hazard Mater 68:41–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kao CM, Chen SC, Wang JY, Chen YL, Lee SZ (2003) Remediation of PCE-contaminated aquifer by an in situ two-layer biobarrier: laboratory batch and column studies. Water Res 37:27–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Vezzulli L, Pruzzo C, Fabiano M (2004) Response of the bacterial community to in situ bioremediation of organic-rich sediments. Mar Pollut Bull 49:740–751CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Liu SJ, Jiang B, Huang GQ, Li XG (2006) Laboratory column study for remediation of MTBE-contaminated groundwater using a biological two-layer permeable barrier. Water Res 40:3401–3408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    van Cauwenberghe L, Diane PG, Roote S (1998) In situ bioremediation, Ground-Water Remediation Technologies Analysis Center (GWRTAC), TO–98–01Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ruberto L, Vazquez SC, Mac Cormack WP (2003) Effectiveness of the natural bacterial flora, biostimulation and bioaugmentation on the bioremediation of a hydrocarbon contaminated Antarctic soil. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 52:115–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Stallwood B, Shears J, Williams PA, Hughes KA (2005) Low temperature bioremediation of oil-contaminated soil using biostimulation and bioaugmentation with a Pseudomonas sp. from maritime Antarctica. J Appl Microbiol 99:794–802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Salanitro JP, Johnson PC, Spinnler GE, Maner PM, Wisniewski HL, Bruce C (2000) Field-scale demonstration of enhanced MTBE bioremediation through aquifer bioaugmentation and oxygenation. Environ Sci Technol 34:4152–4162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cunningham JA, Rahme H, Hopkins GD, Lebron C, Reinhard M (2001) Enhanced in situ bioremediation of BTEX-contaminated groundwater by combined injection of nitrate and sulfate. Environ Sci Technol 35:1663–1670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Oh JI, Lee SH, Yamamoto K (2004) Relationship between molar volume and rejection of arsenic species in groundwater by a low-pressure nanofiltration process. J Membr Sci 234:167–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lin CW, Lai CY, Chen LH, Chiang WF (2007) Microbial community structure during oxygen-stimulated bioremediation in phenol-contaminated groundwater. J Hazard Mater 140:221–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lee DH, Zo YG, Kim SJ (1996) Nonradioactive method to study genetic profiles of natural bacterial communities by PCR-single-strand-conformation polymorphism. Appl Environ Microbiol 62:3112–3120Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Schwieger F, Tebbe CC (1998) A new approach to utilize a PCR-single-strand conformation polymorphism for 16S rRNA gene-based microbial community analysis. Appl Environ Microbiol 64:4870–4876Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Stach JE, Bathe S, Clapp JP, Burns RG (2001) PCR-SSCP comparison of 16S rDNA sequence diversity in soil DNA obtained using different isolation and purification methods. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 36:139–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bäckman JSK, Hermansson A, Tebbe CT, Lindgren PE (2003) Liming induces growth of diverse flora of ammonia-oxidising bacteria in acid spruce forest soil as determined by SSCP and DGGE. Soil Biol Biochem 35:1337–1347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Vacca G, Wand H, Nikolausz M, Kuschk P, Kastner M (2005) Effect of plants and filter materials on bacteria removal in pilot-scale constructed wetlands. Water Res 39:1361–1373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bohan DG, Schlett WS (1999) Enhanced natural bioremediation using a time release oxygen compound, in situ and on-site bioremediation. Battelle Press, Columbus 5:475–480Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lin CW, Chen LH (2007) The composition, structure, and use of a set-up for an oxygen-release unit. Chinese patent M323474, Taiwan, ROCGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    LaPara TM, Nakatsu CH, Pantea LM, Alleman JE (2001) Aerobic biological treatment of pharmaceutical wastewater: effect of temperature on COD removal and bacterial community development. Water Res 35:4417–4425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    White D, Schmidtke T, Woolard C (1999) Laboratory model of a petroleum migration barrier in Arctic Alaska. J Hazard Mater B67:313–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gallizia I, Vezzulli L, Fabiano M (2004) Oxygen supply for biostimulation of enzymatic activity in organic-rich marine ecosystems. Soil Biol Biochem 36:1645–1652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Dou JF, Liu X, Hu ZF, Deng D (2008) Anaerobic BTEX biodegradation linked to nitrate and sulfate reduction. J Hazard Mater 151:720–729CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Turlough FG, Stuart H, Terry M, Brent D (2002) An application of permeable reactive barrier technology to petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated groundwater. Water Res 36:15–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Vesela L, Nemecek J, Siglova M, Kubal M (2006) A biofiltration permeable reactive barrier: practical experience from Synthesia. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 58:224–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chi-Wen Lin
    • 1
  • Li-Hsuan Chen
    • 2
  • Yet-Pole I
    • 1
  • Chi-Yung Lai
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Safety, Health and Environmental EngineeringNational Yunlin University of Science and TechnologyDouliouTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Department of Environmental EngineeringDa-Yeh UniversityDacunTaiwan, ROC
  3. 3.Department of BiologyNational Changhua University of EducationChanghuaTaiwan, ROC

Personalised recommendations