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Impact of activated charcoal on the mineralisation of C-14-phenanthrene in soils

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2010
Issue number4
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)463-469
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The development of phenanthrene catabolism in four soils amended with varying concentrations of activated charcoal (AC) (0%, 0.1%, 1% and 5%), a type of black carbon, was investigated. Mineralisation of I phenanthrene was monitored after 1, 25, 50 and 100 d soil-PAH contact time; lag phases, rates and extents of mineralisation of the C-14-phenanthrene to (CO2)-C-14 were determined. At concentrations >0.1% AC rates and extents of mineralisation were reduced by more than 99%. This revealed that the presence of >0.1% AC in soils may substantially diminish the rate at which the catabolic activity of indigenous soil microflora develops in contaminated soil. Soil C. which had the highest organic carbon (OC) content, consistently exhibited the highest extents of degradation. It is suggested that, in accordance with other researchers, OC may have blocked available phenanthrene sorption sites. This enhanced phenanthrene availability ultimately facilitated a greater level of catabolic activity within this soil. Such results reflect the complex nature of interactions between soil, biota and contaminants and their influence on the degradation of contaminants in the environment. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.