Biodegradation of Toluene Under Seasonal and Diurnal Fluctuations of Soil-Water Temperature.

Brijesh K Yadav, Shristi R Shrestha, S Majid Hassanizadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


An increasing interest in bioremediation of hydrocarbon polluted sites raises the question of the influence of seasonal and diurnal changes on soil-water temperature on biodegradation of BTEX, a widespread group of (sub)-surface contaminants. Therefore, we investigated the impact of a wide range of varying soil-water temperature on biodegradation of toluene under aerobic conditions. To see the seasonal impact of temperature, three sets of batch experiments were conducted at three different constant temperatures: 10°C, 21°C, and 30°C. These conditions were considered to represent (1) winter, (2) spring and/or autumn, and (3) summer seasons, respectively, at many polluted sites. Three additional sets of batch experiments were performed under fluctuating soil-water temperature cases (2110°C, 3021°C, and 1030°C) to mimic the day-night temperature patterns expected during the year. The batches were put at two different temperatures alternatively to represent the day (high-temperature) and night (low-temperature) times. The results of constant- and fluctuating-temperature experiments show that toluene degradation is strongly dependent on soil-water temperature level. An almost two-fold increase in toluene degradation time was observed for every 10°C decrease in temperature for constant-temperature cases. Under fluctuating-temperature conditions, toluene degraders were able to overcome the temperature stress and continued thriving during all considered weather scenarios. However, a slightly longer time was taken compared to the corresponding time at daily mean temperature conditions. The findings of this study are directly useful for bioremediation of hydrocarbon-polluted sites having significant diurnal and seasonal variations of soil-water temperature.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3579-3588
Number of pages10
JournalWater, Air, & Soil Pollution
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 12 2012
Externally publishedYes


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