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Solar power enhancement of electrokinetic bioremediation of phenanthrene by Mycobacterium pallens

Hassan, I., Mohamedelhassan, E., Yanful, E.K., Yuan, Z.C. (2017). Solar power enhancement of electrokinetic bioremediation of phenanthrene by Mycobacterium pallens, 21(2), 53-70.


© 2017 Taylor & Francis. Enhanced bioremediation of phenanthrene-contaminated soil with Mycobacterium pallens was conducted. Kaolinite was used in the tests as a soil matrix and was artificially contaminated with phenanthrene at a concentration of 2 mg phenanthrene per gram dry soil. Mycobacterim pallens at concentration of 108 colony-forming units (CFU) per milliliter was used as a potential microorganism to degrade phenanthrene. Aspects of the study included evaluating efficacy of using Mycobacterium pallens for degrading phenanthrene, electrokinetics for delivering nutrients and microorganisms to contaminated soil, and solar panels for generating power for electrokinetic bioremediation. A novel anode-cathode configuration, in which the anode and cathode are placed in the same compartment, was implemented to control/minimize changes in pH during electrokinetic bioremediation. The nutrients (NO3−), electrical current, temperature, Mycobacterium pallens (CFU), and phenatherene concentration were evaluated. The results showed that solar panels generated sufficient power for electrokinetic bioremediation. The highest current obtained was generated when bacteria and nutrients were added to the soil. This was associated with the highest phenanthrene removal from the soil (50% of the initial concentration). Additionally, we determined that the novel anode-cathode configuration in the electrokinetic bioremediation cell was successful in delivering the bacteria and nutrients to the contaminated soil and in maintaining a relatively neutral pH around the electrode compartments, which improved the remediation. Overall, this study showed that the use of solar power with electrokinetic bioremediation can provide a cost-effective approach to reduce and remove hydrocarbon contaminations in soil.

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