Combining electrokinetic transport and bioremediation for enhanced removal of crude oil from contaminated marine sediments: Results of a long-term, mesocosm-scale experiment

S. Cappello, C. Cruz Viggi, M. Yakimov, S. Rossetti, B. Matturro, L. Molina, A. Segura, S. Marqués, L. Yuste, E. Sevilla, F. Rojo, A. Sherry, O. K. Mejeha, I. M. Head, L. Malmquist, J. H. Christensen, N. Kalogerakis, F. Aulenta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Marine sediments represent an important sink of harmful petroleum hydrocarbons after an accidental oil spill. Electrobioremediation techniques, which combine electrokinetic transport and biodegradation processes, represent an emerging technological platform for a sustainable remediation of contaminated sediments. Here, we describe the results of a long-term mesocosm-scale electrobioremediation experiment for the treatment of marine sediments contaminated by crude oil. A dimensionally stable anode and a stainless-steel mesh cathode were employed to drive seawater electrolysis at a fixed current density of 11 A/m2. This approach allowed establishing conditions conducive to contaminants biodegradation, as confirmed by the enrichment of Alcanivorax borkumensis cells harboring the alkB-gene and other aerobic hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria. Oil chemistry analyses indicated that aromatic hydrocarbons were primarily removed from the sediment via electroosmosis and low molecular weight alkanes (nC6 to nC10) via biodegradation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-395
Number of pages15
JournalWater Research
Volume157
Early online date3 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

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