Bioremediation of PAHs for the Persian Gulf Water by RBCp and MBBR Contactors

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty Member, Biochemical Research Center, School of Chemical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology

2 Professor, Biochemical Research Center, School of Chemical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology

3 Faculty Member, The Persian Gulf Research Center, The Persian Gulf University, Iran


Oil and heavy metals pollution was investigated in the Persian Gulf coastal waters near Booshehr Province. The most polluted areas were found to be Imam Hassan and Assalluyeh, showing PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) levels of 9.83 and 1.29 ppm, respectively. PAHs such as naphthalene and phenanthrene (pollutants with petroleum, coke, and industrial origins) find their way into the environment. Soil samples were taken from these polluted areas to isolate species of bacteria with the highest biodegradation capability. Eight species were recognized, most of which belonged to the pseudomonas, gram negative, and catalase positive organisms. The species were tested for their biological removal capability and the best four were used in a RBCp bioreactor to study their pollutant removal capability. Under steady conditions, a COD removal of 73% and a PAHs removal of 66% were recorded. A moving bed bioreactor (MBBR) was also used to investigate TPH biological removal using the same bacteria. The experiments were performed under three acclimatization periods of 48, 36, and 18 hours within a COD range of 800-2000 mg/l. The results showed that maximum COD and TOC removal efficiencies of 81% and 79%, respectively, can be achieved in mixed growths of the isolated bacteria.


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