Biostimulation of BTX Degradation with Environmentally Benign Aromatic Substrates

EPA Grant Number: R823420
Title: Biostimulation of BTX Degradation with Environmentally Benign Aromatic Substrates
Investigators: Alvarez, Pedro J.
Institution: University of Iowa
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: October 1, 1995 through September 1, 1998
Project Amount: $246,342
RFA: Exploratory Research - Engineering (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Land and Waste Management


Bioremediation, the use of microorganisms to degrade environmental pollutants, can be limited by the presence and expression of appropriate catabolic capacities. We seek to overcome such limitations to enhance the capability and reduce the cost of bioremediation. This research project is driven by the following hypothesis: the controlled addition of environmentally benign aromatic substrates (e.g., benzoate) could stimulate a faster and more complete degradation of priority pollutants (e.g., benzene, toluene, and xylenes, collectively known as BTX). A stimulatory substrate could induce catabolic enzymes, act as primary substrates during co-metabolism, or serve as growth substrates for the selective proliferation of desirable phenotypes. This would be particularly beneficial when the target BTX are present at insufficient concentrations to support steady microbial growth. The results of this research will provide basic criteria to enhance beneficial substrate interactions during bioremediation. This project will also advance our understanding of metabolic and population shifts that result from anthropogenic changes in aquifer chemistry. This understanding may lead to improved and refined bioremediation concepts and techniques to cleaning up potential drinking water sources contaminated with toxic monoaromatic hydrocarbons and xylenes.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 12 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 4 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

water, drinking water, ground water, treatment, bioremediation, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Waste, Water, Remediation, Environmental Chemistry, HAPS, Chemistry, Bioremediation, Drinking Water, Groundwater remediation, 33/50, EPCRA, Engineering, bioremediation model, microbial degradation, Toluene, biodegradation, enzymes, Xylenes, Benzene, 1-(chloromethyl)-4-nitro-, environmental engineering, treatment, microbial risk management, contaminant release, biostimulation, Benzene (including benzene from gasoline), Xylenes (isomers and mixture), other - risk management, groundwater

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997
  • Final Report