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Bioremediation of tributyltin contaminated sediment : degradation enhancement and improvement of bioavailability to promote treatment processes

Sakultantimetha, A. and Keenan, H. E. and Beattie, T. K. and Bangkedphol, S. and Cavoura, O. (2011) Bioremediation of tributyltin contaminated sediment : degradation enhancement and improvement of bioavailability to promote treatment processes. Chemosphere, 83 (5). pp. 680-686. ISSN 0045-6535

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Bioremediation of tributyltin (TBT) contaminated sediment was studied and degradation enhancement and improvement of bioavailability were also investigated. In TBT spiked sediment, the half-life of TBT in the control sample, representing natural attenuation, was 578 d indicating its persistence. In the stimulated sample (pH 7.5, aeration and incubated at 28 C), the half-life was significantly reduced to 11 d. Further stimulation by nutrient addition (succinate, glycerol and L-arginine) or inoculation with Enterobacter cloacae (107 viable cells g1 of sediment) resulted in half-life reduction to 9 and 10 d, respectively. In non-spiked sediment, the indigenous microorganisms were able to degrade aged TBT, but the extended period of contamination decreased the degradation efficiency. To improve bioavailability, addition of surfactant, adjustment of salinity and sonication were studied. The highest percentage solubilisation of TBT in water was obtained by adjusting salinity to 20 psu, which increased the solubility of TBT from 13% to 33%. Half-lives after bioavailability was improved were 5, 4 and 4 d for stimulation, stimulation w/nutrient addition and stimulation w/inoculation, respectively. However, natural attenuation in the control sample was not enhanced. The results show that providing suitable conditions is important in enhancing TBT biodegradation, and bioavailability improvement additionally increased the rate and degraded amount of TBT. Unfortunately, nutrient addition and inoculation of the degrader did not enhance the degradation appreciably.