Evaluation methods for assessing effectiveness of in situ remediation of soil and sediment contaminated with organic pollutants and heavy metals.
Electrokinetic-microbial remediation (EMR) has emerged as a promising option for the removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from contaminated soils. The aim of this study was to enhance degradation of phenanthrene (Phe)-contaminated soils using EMR combined with biosurfactants. The electrokinetic (EK) remediation, combined with Phe-degrading Sphingomonas sp. GY2B, and biosurfactant obtained by fermentation of Pseudomonas sp. MZ01, degraded Phe in the soil with an efficiency of up to 65.1 % at the anode, 49.9 % at the cathode after 5 days of the treatment. The presence of biosurfactants, electricity, and a neutral electrolyte stimulated the growth of the degrading bacteria as shown by a rapid increase in microbial biomass with time. The electrical conductivity and pH changed little during the course of the treatment, which benefitted the growth of microorganisms and the remediation of Phe-contaminated soil. The EMR system with the addition of biosurfactant had the highest Phe removal, demonstrating the biosurfactant may enhance the bioavailability of Phe and the interaction with the microorganism. This study suggests that the EMR combined with biosurfactants can be used to enhance in situ bioremediation of PAH-contaminated soils.