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Role of biodegradation in accumulation of hydrocarbons

Research Achievements

Role of biodegradation in accumulation of hydrocarbons

Previous studies have indicated that raingardens are effective at removing petroleum hydrocarbons from stormwater. There are concerns, however, that petroleum hydrocarbons could accumulate in raingarden soil, potentially resulting in liability for the site owner. In this work, 75 soil samples were collected from 58 raingardens and 4 upland sites in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, representing a range of raingarden ages and catchment land uses. The ability of microorganisms present in the soil samples to degrade a representative petroleum hydrocarbon (naphthalene) was also investigated in batch experiments. In these experiments the initial mineralization rate correlated with the number of copies of Bacteria 16S rRNA genes present.

LeFevre, G.H.; Hozalski, R.M.; Novak, P.J. The role of biodegradation in limiting the accumulation of petroleum hydrocarbons in raingarden soils. Water Res. 2012.