In this study, the bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)-contaminated soil under strict anaerobic-methanogenic conditions was systematically studied applying the central composite design approach. The effect of PAHs concentration and the stability of the compost as an organic amendment for anaerobic digestion were examined. In all assays, the used methanogenic consortium was able to degrade the PAHs although some inhibition effects were observed during the initial stage in some cases. The degradation rates varied between 31.4 and 90.6% during 50 days incubation period. The study demonstrated that the PAHs concentration influences the degradation rate where more degradation was observed by increasing the concentration of PAHs. However, the biogas production as a result of the digestion process was more influenced by the compost stability which also has its effect on the degradation rates as more degradation occurred with more stable compost, but more biogas was produced with less stable compost, which indicates that the biogas is mainly produced by the anaerobic digestion of the amended compost. Finally, it seems that compost addition is required to improve the process in some cases but in other circumstances it does not greatly improve the bioremediation of PAHs. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
- Anaerobic digestion
- Compost stability
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
- Soil bioremediation