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Remediation potential of immobilized bacterial consortium with biochar as carrier in pyrene-Cr(VI) co-contaminated soil

Wang, Chuanhua, Gu, Lingfeng, Ge, Shimei, Liu, Xiaoyan, Zhang, Xinying, Chen, Xiao
Environmental technology 2019 v.40 no.18 pp. 2345-2353
adsorption, alginates, bacteria, bioaugmentation, bioavailability, biochar, chromium, environmental technology, enzymes, fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis, immobilized cells, polluted soils, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, soil ecology, soil pollution, toxicity
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs) soil contamination have become areas of concern. Bioaugmentation is regarded as an effective bioremediation method, however it is difficult to simultaneously degrade organic compounds and remove PTEs with individual microbial strains. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using immobilized microbial consortia, including two PAH-degrading bacterial strains (W1 and W2) and a Cr(VI)-reducing bacterium (Y2), for the remediation of pyrene-Cr(VI) co-contaminated soil. Three immobilization methods were investigated: (1) bacterial consortium adsorption onto biochar (BC), (2) bacterial consortium entrapment in alginate beads (AC), (3) bacterial consortium adsorption on biochar and sequential entrapment in alginate beads (BAC). In addition, a free bacterial consortium (FC) was also used for comparison. Ten treatments were designed to illustrate the bioremediation efficiency of the free and immobilized consortia. The results show that treatments AC and BAC resulted in more efficient Cr(VI) removal compared with BC and FC. Pyrene levels in AC and BAC microcosms were reduced from 42.33 ± 3.82 to 11.56 ± 1.37 and 7.48 ± 0.39 mg kg⁻¹, respectively. Bioavailable Cr (VI) in AC and BAC was significantly lower than that in other microcosms after 28 days’ incubation. Both AC and BAC microcosms exhibited a higher level of dehydrogenase and fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis activity. Furthermore, soil microbial diversity was higher in AC and BAC microcosms compared with the others. Thus, the entrapped consortia may be useful for bioremediation of pyrene and Cr (VI) without compromising soil ecology.