© 2018 Elsevier B.V. In order to assess the effect of mixed pollutants, the influence of different concentration levels of a mixture of metals (Cr, Co, Pb, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn) on the biodegradation of some PAHs (phenanthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo[b]fluoranthene and benzo[a]pyrene) in soil samples was evaluated. To do so, groups of microcosms of a natural soil from the region of Sabadell (Barcelona, Spain) were prepared as a reproduction of the native environment at laboratory scale, under controlled conditions. Mixtures of PAHs and metals were carefully selected, according to soil characterization and microbiological growth preliminary assays, and were added to microcosms. These microcosms were analyzed at various times, along two months, to obtain PAHs dissipation time-courses. A first-order kinetic modelling allowed obtaining different rate constants and DT50 values as a function of the metal levels introduced in microcosms. As a general observation, the higher the concentration of metals, the lower the biodegradation of PAHs of 3–4 rings (phenanthrene, fluoranthene and pyrene). On the other hand, no important effect on the biodegradation of higher molecular weight PAHs (benzo[b]fluoranthene and benzo[a]pyrene) was observed at the different concentration levels of metals tested.
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons