Removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil using biosurfactants (BS) produced by Rhodococcus ruber IEGM 231 was studied in soil columns spiked with model mixtures of major petroleum constituents. A crystalline mixture of single PAHs (0.63 g/kg), a crystalline mixture of PAHs (0.63 g/kg) and polycyclic aromatic sulfur heterocycles (PASHs), and an artificially synthesized non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) containing PAHs (3.00 g/kg) dissolved in alkanes C10-C19 were used for spiking. Percentage of PAH removal with BS varied from 16 to 69%. Washing activities of BS were 2.5 times greater than those of synthetic surfactant Tween 60 in NAPL-spiked soil and similar to Tween 60 in crystalline-spiked soil. At the same time, amounts of removed PAHs were equal and consisted of 0.3-0.5 g/kg dry soil regardless the chemical pattern of a model mixture of petroleum hydrocarbons and heterocycles used for spiking. UV spectra for soil before and after BS treatment were obtained and their applicability for differentiated analysis of PAH and PASH concentration changes in remediated soil was shown. The ratios A254nm/A288nm revealed that BS increased biotreatability of PAH-contaminated soils.
- polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- Rhodococcus biosurfactants
- soil contamination
- UV spectrophotometry