Biodegradation of hydrocarbons in petroleum-contaminated freshwater and sediments Academic Article uri icon


  • The primary goal of this research was to evaluate in situ biodegradability of petroleum-contaminated freshwater aqueous and sediment environments. This goal was achieved by completing the emulate in situ conditions for freshwater aqueous and sediment microcosm contaminated with petroleum; defining analytical techniques to quantify biomass, total and hydrocarbon-degraders; measuring the aqueous and sediment concentrations of the polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons studied, along with the total petroleum hydrocarbons; determining the biodegradative losses of surrogate PAH compounds with relation to the overall loss of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in the microcosms; determining the efficacy of different bioremedial augmentation products; determining the kinetic parameters and model equations that describe the substrate depletion and growth rates; and determining acute toxicity associated with microbial community, in situ contamination, and the biodegradative metabolites. The reactors used in this work were microcosms containing sediment and water collected from a site with hydrocarbon loading history at a refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. The sediments and water were collected and introduced to the microcosms in a effort to simulate the field conditions as nearly as possible. The laboratory conditions eliminated such variable environmental parameters as temperature, humidity, rainfall, and light. Preliminary results indicate that the TPH in the aqueous phase was reduced to nondetectable levels, while the sediment TPH was reduced by approximately 60%.

published proceedings

  • Waste Management

author list (cited authors)

  • Mills, M., Bonner, J. S., Simon, M., Page, C., Kanga, S., & Autenrieth, R. L.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Mills, Marc||Bonner, James S||Simon, Mark||Page, Cheryl||Kanga, Shahrukh||Autenrieth, Robin L

publication date

  • January 1993