The degradation of several polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil through composting was investigated. The selected PAHs included: fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo(a)anthracene, and chrysene, with concentrations simulating a real creosote sample. The degradation of PAHs (initial concentration 1 g of total PAHs kg-1 dry soil) was assessed applying bioaugmentation with the white-rot fungi Trametes versicolor and biostimulation using compost of the source-selected organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) and rabbit food as organic co-substrates. The process performance during 30 days of incubation was evaluated through different analyses including: dynamic respiration index (DRI), cumulative oxygen consumption during 5 days (AT5), enzymatic activity, and fungal biomass. These analyses demonstrated that the introduced T. versicolor did not significantly enhance the degradation of PAHs. However, biostimulation was able to improve the PAHs degradation: 89% of the total PAHs were degraded by the end of the composting period (30 days) compared to the only 29.5% that was achieved by the soil indigenous microorganisms without any co-substrate (control, not amended). Indeed, the results showed that stable compost from the OFMSW has a greater potential to enhance the degradation of PAHs compared to non-stable co-substrates such as rabbit food. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)