Fate of Pyrene in Contaminated Soil Amended with Alternate Electron Acceptors

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Creosote-contaminated soil samples from the Libby Ground Water Contamination Superfund Site in Libby, MT, were amended with the potential alternate electron acceptors (AEA) nitrate (KNO3), manganese oxide (MnO2), and amorphous iron oxyhydroxide (FeOOH) and incubated at low oxygen tensions (0–6% O2). The fate of 14C-pyrene was evaluated with respect to the different soil amendments. The fate of 14C from the radiolabeled pyrene with regard to mineralization and bound residue formation within soil humic fractions was not significantly different from controls for the iron and manganese amended soils. Nitrate amendments appeared to stimulate 14C-pyrene mineralization at a level of 170 mg NO3–N kg−1, and inhibit mineralization at 340 mg NO3–N kg−1. The stimulatory effect did not appear to be the result of nitrate serving as an electron acceptor. Although AEA amendments did not significantly affect the rate or extent of 14C-pyrene mineralization, results of oxygen-deprived incubations (purged with N2) indicate that AEA may be utilized by the microbial community in the unsaturated contaminated soil system.


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