Determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Persian Gulf and its Biodegradability Using a Rotating Biological Contactor

Document Type : Research Paper


1 BBRC, Sharif University of Technology

2 Persian Gulf University


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are the main pollutants in oil pollution. PAHs accumulation in aqueous phase causes some aquatic and human diseases Biodegradation methods of PAHs removal were studied using flasks and a reactor. Standard sampling was performed from polluted areas in Persian Gulf and samples were analyzed. COD, TOC, PAHs and heavy metals were determined. Results Showed that, Emam Hassan (EM), Deilam and Shaghab were most polluted areas (PAHs equals 9.8, 4.2, 2.7ppm respectively) and samples from the dept showed more pollution than from the surface. For the biological treatment, most active species of bacteria were isolated from the soil of the polluted stations. Most of them are among Pseudomonas, gram and catalazet+. Rotating biological contactor packed (RBCp) by providing high acclimation time for the microbial mass, found very suitable process for removal of PHAs. The pure bacterial culture from EM showed, 80% removal efficiency for naphthalene. As the biodegradation of PAHs take a long time, RBCp reactor was selected and the ability of mixed culture in removal of pollutants was studied. The bioreactor was run in two stages. The acclimatization stage took place in 30 days and evaluation of bioreactor in terms of effluent COD concentration and MLSS with initial COD influent of 600 mg/l was operated. COD and PAHs removal of 73 and 66 percent were found respectively while the influent COD was 1200 mg/l.

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