Optimal nitrate concentration for the biodegradation of n-heptadecane in a variably-saturated sand column

M. C. Boufadel, P. Reeser, M. T. Suidan, B. A. Wrenn, J. Cheng, X. Du, Tiehung L. Huang, A. D. Venosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bioremediation of oil spills on beaches commonly involves the addition of nutrients (especially nitrogen and phosphorus) to stimulate the growth of indigenous oil-degrading bacteria. Very little information is available regarding the relationship between nutrient concentration and the rate of oil biodegradation. This information is necessary to design an appropriate nutrient delivery technology. We used continuous-flow beach microcosms containing heptadecane-coated sand (2.0 g per kg of dry sand) to evaluate the effect of nitrate concentration on the hydrocarbon biodegradation rate. Heptadecane biodegradation was determined by monitoring oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production in the microcosms. The maximum biodegradation occurred at 2.5 mg nitrate-N l−1. Nitrogen recycling by the biomass was evidenced by the presence of microbial activity at zero influent nitrate concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal

Keywords

  • Beaches
  • Bioremediation
  • Nutrient
  • Oil
  • Shores

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