Coal Tar Contamination: Bioremediation and Bioavailability

Tuesday, January 18, 2000 - 11:00am - 11:35am
Keller 3-180
Edward Bouwer (Johns Hopkins University)
Joint work with Peter C. D'Adamo.

Bioremediation involves complex interactions of biological, chemical, and physical processes, and requires integration of phenomena operating at scales ranging from that of the microbial cell (1 �m) to that of the field site (10-1000 m). Field and laboratory studies have been conducted at a former manufactured gas plant in Baltimore to examine some of the scaling issues pertinent to bioremediation and bioavailability. The site has extensive coal tar contamination.

Sediments obtained from the site and incubated in the laboratory indicate that the indigenous bacteria are capable of mineralizing the principal aromatic compounds in the groundwater plume (benzene, naphthalene, and phenanthrene). Aerobic conditions were most favorable for the biotransformations. Only two sediment microcosms exhibited mineralization of naphthalene (