Multi-factors on biodegradation kinetics of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by Sphingomonas sp. a bacterial strain isolated from mangrove sediment

Jianlin Chen, M H Wong, Y S Wong, Nora F Y Tam
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2008, 57 (6-12): 695-702
Biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in contaminated sediment is an attractive remediation technique and its success depends on biodegradation kinetics, and the optimal condition for the PAH-degrading isolates; however, information on this aspect is still scarce. The effects of multi-factors on biodegradation of phenanthrene, a 3-ring model PAH, in contaminated sediment slurry by Sphingomonas sp. a bacterial strain isolated from surface mangrove sediment, were investigated using the orthogonal experimental design (form L(16)(4(5))). The most significant factors were salinity and inoculum size, while the effects of phenanthrene concentrations, nutrient addition and temperatures were insignificant. The optimal biodegradation condition in contaminated mangrove sediment slurry was 30 degrees C, 15 ppt salinity, a carbon/nitrogen ratio of 100:1 (the background ratio in sediment) and an inoculum size of 10(6) most probable number g(-1) sediment. The phenanthrene biodegradation could be best described by the first order rate model, C=C(0)e(-kt), where k (the rate constant) is equaled to 0.1185, under the optimal condition. The kinetic model was verified and its validity in predicting biodegradation by Sphingomonas sp. at various phenanthrene concentrations was proved by experimental data.

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