, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 607–616

Degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil by a two-step sequential treatment

  • Leticia Pizzul
  • Åsa Sjögren
  • María del Pilar Castillo
  • John Stenström
Original Paper


The objectives of this work were to isolate the microorganisms responsible for a previously observed degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in soil and to test a method for cleaning a PAH-contaminated soil. An efficient PAH degrader was isolated from an agricultural soil and designated as Mycobacterium LP1. In liquid culture, it degraded phenanthrene (58%), pyrene (24%), anthracene (21%) and benzo(a)pyrene (10%) present in mixture (initial concentration 50 μg ml−1 each) and phenanthrene (92%) and pyrene (94%) as sole carbon sources after 14 days of incubation at 30°C. In soil, Mycobacterium LP1 mineralised 14C-phenanthrene (45%) and 14C-pyrene (65%) after 10 days. The good ability of this Mycobacterium was combined with the benzo(a)pyrene oxidation effect obtained by 1% w/w rapeseed oil in a sequential treatment of a PAH-spiked soil (total PAH concentration 200 mg kg−1). The first step was incubation with the bacterium for 12 days and the second step was the addition of the rapeseed oil after this time and a further incubation of 22 days. Phenanthrene (99%), pyrene (95%) and anthracene (99%) were mainly degraded in the first 12 days and a total of 85% of benzo(a)pyrene was transformed during the whole process. The feasibility of the method is discussed.


Mycobacterium Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Rapeseed oil Soil bioremediation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leticia Pizzul
    • 1
  • Åsa Sjögren
    • 1
  • María del Pilar Castillo
    • 1
  • John Stenström
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden

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