Journal of hazardous materials

Using chemical desorption of PAHs from sediment to model biodegradation during bioavailability assessment.

PMID 25261761


This work compares the biodegradation potential of four polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) (phenanthrene, pyrene, chrysene and benzo(a)pyrene, chosen as representatives of the 3, 4 and 5 ring PAHs) with their desorption from sediment by XAD4 resin and methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MCD). The biodegradation study was conducted under various conditions (biostimulation, bioaugmentation and their combination). The results show that total PAH removal in all treatments except biostimulation gave similar results, whereby the total amount of PAHs was decreased by about 30-35%. The desorption experiment showed that XAD4 desorbed a greater fraction of phenanthrene (77% versus 52%), and benzo(a)pyrene (44% versus 25%) than MCD. The results for four ring PAHs were similar for both desorption agents (about 30%). Comparing the maximum biodegraded amount of each PAH with the rapidly desorbed XAD4 and MCD fraction, XAD4 was found to correlate better with biodegradation for the high molecular PAHs (pyrene, chrysene, benzo(a)pyrene), although it overestimated the availability of phenanthrene. In contrast, MCD showed better correlation with the biodegradation of low molecular weight PAHs.