Soil contamination due to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons is often associated with the presence of high levels of potentially toxic metals. Bioremediation is an important option for the clean up of this type of contamination. Changes of chromium fluxes and concentrations during the phenanthrene removal by Penicillium frequentans in soil were investigated. During the bioremediation process, changes in chromium behavior were monitored by Diffusive Gradients in Thin-films (DGT) and by filtration in both sterilized and non-sterilized soils. DGT provided absolute data on fluxes from the solid phase and relative trends of concentrations of the most labile metal species. Filtration provided data on the concentrations of Cr in the solution phase. Together the data provided information about the physical and chemical metal behavior. Results showed that the highest phenanthrene removal was observed in non-sterilized soil (which included the autochthonous microorganisms and P. frequentans inoculum), with a phenanthrene removal of 73 +/- 3.2%. However, in all cases microbial activity increased chromium fluxes and chromium soil Solution concentration. The bioremediation of soil by P. frequentans increased the lability and mobility of chromium in soil, with potential consequences for plant uptake and for increased movement of metals into the human food chain.
- solid-state culture
- P. frequentans