Application of Nonionic Surfactant for the Bioremediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons


Abstract (Summary)
The effectiveness of nonionic surfactant addition on the bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons was studied. Specifically, biological responses to synthetic surfactant addition and the surfactant effect on PAH bioremediation were observed. With micellar solubilization, the surfactant could solubilize less soluble PAHs and facilitate the mass transfer of PAHs from solid PAH to the aqueous phase. It appeared that surfactant micelles behave as PAH containing reservoirs which could replenish aqueous phase PAHs quickly. There were fast exchanges of PAHs between the micelle core and the aqueous phase, and micellar phase PAHs could be utilized by PAH degrading bacteria if they had the ability to utilize specific PAHs. Bacterial biofilm formation with extracellular polymeric substances was the strategy of bacteria to utilize partially soluble PAHs in simulated subsurface aquifers. However, in the presence of surfactant, this strategy was modified. The presence of surfactant at all concentrations changed the physiological aspects of the attached biofilm. Based on the elucidated results of the biological responses to surfactant addition, the applicability of use of a permeable reactive biobarrier for surfactant-coupled bioremediation was also observed. The mulch biofilm barrier could prevent the migration of low molecular weight PAHs. However, it couldn’t prevent the migration of micellar solubilized high molecular weight PAHs completely, when surfactant was applied continuously. For the bioremediation of high molecular weight PAHs with surfactant, besides the application of a biobarrier, additional treatment strategies might be required to prevent the migration of the surfactant solubilized PAHs.
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:surfactant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon biofilm


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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