Impact of organic carbon and nutrients mobilized during chemical oxidation on subsequent bioremediation of a diesel-contaminated soil

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Abstract

Remediation with in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) impacts soil organic matter (SOM) and the microbial community, with deleterious effects on the latter being a major hurdle to coupling ISCO with in situ bioremediation (ISB). We investigate treatment of a diesel-contaminated soil with Fenton’s reagent and modified Fenton’s reagent coupled with a subsequent bioremediation phase of 187 d, both with and without nutrient amendment. Chemical oxidation mobilized SOM into the liquid phase, producing dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations 8–16 times higher than the untreated field sample. Higher aqueous concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous species were also observed following oxidation; increased 14–172 times. During the bioremediation phase, dissolved carbon and nutrient species were utilized for microbial growth-yielding DOC concentrations similar to field sample levels within 56 d of incubation. In the absence of nutrient amendment, the highest microbial respiration rates were correlated with higher availability of nitrogen and phosphorus species mobilized by oxidation. Significant diesel degradation was only observed following nutrient amendment, implying that nutrients mobilized by chemical oxidation can increase microbial activity but are insufficient for bioremediation. While all bioremediation occurred in the first 28 d of incubation in the biotic control microcosm with nutrient amendment, biodegradation continued throughout 187 d of incubation following chemical oxidation, suggesting that chemical treatment also affects the desorption of organic contaminants from SOM. Overall, results indicate that biodegradation of DOC, as an alternative substrate to diesel, and biological utilization of mobilized nutrients have implications for the success of coupled ISCO and ISB treatments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-70
JournalChemosphere
Volume97
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • in-situ ozonation
  • community composition
  • matter
  • biodegradation
  • oil
  • bioavailability
  • oxidants
  • sorption

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