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Development of a formulation of microbial inoculum for field-scale remediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons


Worldwide industrial and agricultural developments have released a large number of natural and synthetic hazardous compounds into the environment. As a result, there are numerous sites in the world that require clean-up of soils and groundwater.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are carcinogenic micropollutants, which are resistant to environmental degradation, and are commonly found at contaminated sites; particularly those associated with petroleum, gas production and wood preserving industries.  High concentrations of PAHs in soil have been shown to have detrimental effects on ecosystems and pose a risk to human health as they enter the food chain.

Bioremediation as a clean-up tool has proven to be an inexpensive and sustainable approach for several organic contaminants. Hence development of a microbial consortium with great efficiency in removing PAHs from soils is an important goal; and as a consequence is the aim of this research project.

To achieve this goal, the first approach is to screen PAHs degrading bacteria that could aid in the degradation process. Following this, microbial inoculum of different formulations, either as single or consortia, would be developed and the performance of the inoculum tested at real contaminated site.

The end result should be an eco-friendly inoculum to clean up PAHs contaminated soils.