Assessing Detoxification and Degradation of Wood Preserving and Petroleum Wastes in Contaminated Soils

Document Type


Journal/Book Title

Waste Management and Research

Publication Date





This study was undertaken to evaluate in-situ soil bioremediation processes, including degradation and detoxification, for two types of wood preserving wastes and two types of petroleum refining wastes at high concentrations in an unacclimated soil. The soil solid phase, water soluble fractions of the soil, and column leachates were evaluated. Two bioassays, a mutagenic potential asay (Ames assay) and an aqueous toxicity assay (Microtox™ assay) were used to evaluate detoxification; high performance liquid chromatography was used to evaluate chemical concentration and degradation for eight polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The group of non-carcinogenic PAHs studied demonstrated greater degradation, ranging from 54-90% of mass added for the four wastes; the carcinogenic group of PAHs studied exhibited degradation ranging from 24-53% of mass added. Although no mutagenicity was observed in waste/soil mixtures after one year of treatment, Microtox™ toxicity was observed in water soluble fractions and in leachate samples. An integration of information concerning degradation of hazardous constituents with bioassay information represents an approach for designing treatability studies and for evaluating the effectiveness of in-situ bioremediation of contaminated soil/waste systems. When combined with information from waste, site and soil characterization studies, the data generated in treatability studies may be used in predictive mathematical models to: (1) evaluate the effectiveness of use of on-site bioremediation for treatment of wastes in soil systems; (2) develop appropriate containment structures to prevent unacceptable waste transport from the treatment zone; and (3) design performance monitoring strategies.


Originally published by Sage. Publisher’s PDF available through remote link. May require fee or subscription.