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Feasibility of Enhanced Biodegradation of Petroleum Compounds in Groundwater Under Denitrifying Conditions


Groundwater was collected from a petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated site and characterized for microbial and physiochemical properties to assess the feasibility of enhanced natural attenuation. Results demonstrate the depletion of nitrate and dominance of denitrifying bacteria in the groundwater. Microcosm studies of amending nitrate and nutrients were attempted to enhanced biodegradation of petroleum compounds under denitrifying condition. Results show that 75% of petroleum compounds was degraded within 152-day in microcosms amended with nitrate, compared to 25% removal in the non-amended controls. Data indicate that nitrate amendment to groundwater may offer a viable remedy for enhanced natural attenuation of petroleum compounds.

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Financial support for Haiping Luo was partially provided by an industrial consortium and the School of Energy and Resources of the University of Wyoming.

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Correspondence to Song Jin.

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Jin, S., Fallgren, P. & Luo, H. Feasibility of Enhanced Biodegradation of Petroleum Compounds in Groundwater Under Denitrifying Conditions. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 84, 357–361 (2010).

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  • Biodegradation
  • Denitrification
  • Groundwater
  • Petroleum hydrocarbons