Final Report: Migration and Biodegradation of Pentachlorophenol in Soil Environment

EPA Grant Number: R825549C020
Subproject: this is subproject number 020 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825549
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - Great Plains/Rocky Mountain HSRC
Center Director: Erickson, Larry E.
Title: Migration and Biodegradation of Pentachlorophenol in Soil Environment
Investigators: Banerji, Shankha K. , Bajpai, Rakesh K.
Institution: University of Missouri - Columbia
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: February 1, 1989 through February 1, 1992
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management


The overall goal of the study is to determine the migration rate of pentachlorophenol (PCP) in soil environment and to evaluate the feasibility of above ground and in situ biodegradation of PCP.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

Wood preservatives are used extensively in EPA regions 7 and 8. Research on the migration and biodegradation of pentachlorophenol will be useful in developing plans to clean sites affected by wood preservatives wastes containing pentachlorophenol.

PCP/Soil Interaction Studies:

PCP adsorption and desorption was studied with two Menfro silt loam soils -- an upper horizon and a lower horizon soil. The adsorption data at different temperatures indicated the physical nature of the adsorption process. The desorption data produced non-singularity and some PCP was found to be irreversibly bound to the soil despite repeated washings. An anionic surfactant, sodium dodecyl sulfonate, was able to desorb significant amounts of PCP from the soil at doses equal to critical micelle concentration (CMC). But the nonionic surfactant, Triton X-405, required a much higher dose, twice the CMC to cause a significant desorption of PCP from the soil.

PCP Photodegradation Studies:

Initial PCP photodegradation studies were conducted at pH 6 and pH 11 in PCP aqueous solution of 100 mg/L. The degradation rate followed a first order kinetics and the rate constants compared well with those reported in the literature. Degradation rate was higher at pH 11.0 than at pH 6.0. Tetrachlorocatechol was identified as the main photodegradation product using GC/MS analysis of the samples irradiated at pH 6.0.

In thin soil films (about 0.5 mm thick), moisture variations from 20 to 60% had no effect on the photodegradation rates in low organic matter soils. The PCP reduction was about 40% after 13 hr of irradiation. With higher organic matter soils, irreversible adsorption of PCP to the soil was observed and the photodegradation was negligible.

In a slurry reactor, the PCP adsorbed on the high organic matter soil was subject to rapid photodegradation. The degradation products were non-volatile as evident from the invariability of the total COD of the system. The photodegradation products of PCP were found to be biodegraded at a rate faster than PCP itself by an acclimated mixed culture that was cometabolizing PCP.

PCP Aerobic Biodeqradation Studies Using Bacterial Species:

Initially, PCP degradation was studied using a pure culture, Pseudomonas cepacia, in batch experiments. It was found that PCP was cometabolized by cells growing on dextrose. At higher doses, PCP was a non-competitive inhibitor of growth of Ps. cepacia. This organism was incapable of utilizing PCP as a sole carbon source. Presence of soil in the growth media (30% soil slurry) reduced the PCP degradation rate by an order of magnitude. In soil systems, Ps. cepacia was capable of cometabolizing PCP using natural organic matter as metabolites.

A mixed culture capable of degrading PCP was developed from the activated sludge obtained locally. The culture was acclimated to 100 mg/L PCP as a cometabolite with dextrose as the primary substrate. A high rate of PCP removal and complete PCP removal was observed within a 24 hr. period with PCP levels below the acclimated concentrations. Although a primary substrate was necessary for the metabolism of PCP, high concentration of dextrose reduced the rate of degradation of PCP.

PCP Aerobic Biodegradation Studies Using Fungi:

The degradation of PCP by the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium was investigated in soil slurry reactor and in soil beds at 30? C. In a 30% soil slurry containing about 67 mg PCP per kg soil, growing cells of P. chrysosporium completely removed the extractable PCP in 16 days. In soil beds, 90% removal of PCP was observed with 50 mg PCP per kg soil in 26 days. Presence of peat moss as carbon source had a favorable effect on the PCP degradation and cell growth both in slurry and soil bed systems. However, at 200 mg PCP/kg soil the growth of P. chrysosporium was completely inhibited. Supplementation of soil with carbon source and nutrient enhanced the growth of the fungi as well as PCP degradation. Dextrose exhibited the classic catabolic repression of PCP metabolism as its concentration was increased from 100 g/kg soil to 1000 g/kg soil.

PCP Migration Studies:

PCP migration in soils was studied in aqueous and nonaqueous phase systems. In the aqueous system Na-PCP breakthrough in columns packed with Menfro silt loam was evaluated. The dispersion as well as the retardation coefficient for the compound were determined. The soil column initial moisture levels were varied from 35% to 65% to see its effect on the PCP breakthrough. The retardation coefficient for Na-PCP in column experiments varied from 1.21 to 1.90 depending on the moisture levels and flow rate. At the same flow rate, the PCP breakthrough occurred later in columns in the higher moisture content.
In the experiments dealing with non-aqueous phase PCP migration in soil columns, kerosene was used as the nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL). Kerosene had the highest affinity for PCP, followed by the soil and the water in batch partitioning experiments. Residual saturation and soil retention capacity for kerosene were higher in the 35% moisture soil than in the 65% moisture soil. The PCP/kerosene breakthrough experiments showed that the kerosene would penetrate deeper and faster in the 65% moisture soil than in the 35% moisture soil. The residual kerosene in the soil column acted as a sorptive phase to retard the PCP migration.

Results have been presented at professional meetings and they have been communicated to many interested parties.

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 23 publications 1 publications in selected types All 1 journal articles
Other center views: All 904 publications 230 publications in selected types All 182 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Banerji SK, Bajpai RK, Wei SM. Pentachlorophenol interactions with soil. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 1993:69(1-2):149-163. R825549C020 (Final)
not available

Supplemental Keywords:

pentachlorophenol, biodegradation, migration., Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Environmental Chemistry, Geochemistry, Contaminated Sediments, Analytical Chemistry, Fate & Transport, Ecology and Ecosystems, Bioremediation, fate and transport, microbiology, degradation, contaminant transport, microbial degradation, PCP, aerobic degradation, in situ remediation, biodegradation, contaminated sediment, adsorption, chemical transport, contaminants in soil, bioremediation of soils, chemical kinetics, photodegradation, phytoremediation, sorption experiments, bacterial degradation, contaminated soils, Pentachlorophenol

Relevant Websites: Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 1989
  • 1990

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825549    HSRC (1989) - Great Plains/Rocky Mountain HSRC

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825549C006 Fate of Trichloroethylene (TCE) in Plant/Soil Systems
    R825549C007 Experimental Study of Stabilization/Solidification of Hazardous Wastes
    R825549C008 Modeling Dissolved Oxygen, Nitrate and Pesticide Contamination in the Subsurface Environment
    R825549C009 Vadose Zone Decontamination by Air Venting
    R825549C010 Thermochemical Treatment of Hazardous Wastes
    R825549C011 Development, Characterization and Evaluation of Adsorbent Regeneration Processes for Treament of Hazardous Waste
    R825549C012 Computer Method to Estimate Safe Level Water Quality Concentrations for Organic Chemicals
    R825549C013 Removal of Nitrogenous Pesticides from Rural Well-Water Supplies by Enzymatic Ozonation Process
    R825549C014 The Characterization and Treatment of Hazardous Materials from Metal/Mineral Processing Wastes
    R825549C015 Adsorption of Hazardous Substances onto Soil Constituents
    R825549C016 Reclamation of Metal and Mining Contaminated Superfund Sites using Sewage Sludge/Fly Ash Amendment
    R825549C017 Metal Recovery and Reuse Using an Integrated Vermiculite Ion Exchange - Acid Recovery System
    R825549C018 Removal of Heavy Metals from Hazardous Wastes by Protein Complexation for their Ultimate Recovery and Reuse
    R825549C019 Development of In-situ Biodegradation Technology
    R825549C020 Migration and Biodegradation of Pentachlorophenol in Soil Environment
    R825549C021 Deep-Rooted Poplar Trees as an Innovative Treatment Technology for Pesticide and Toxic Organics Removal from Soil and Groundwater
    R825549C022 In-situ Soil and Aquifer Decontaminaiton using Hydrogen Peroxide and Fenton's Reagent
    R825549C023 Simulation of Three-Dimensional Transport of Hazardous Chemicals in Heterogeneous Soil Cores Using X-ray Computed Tomography
    R825549C024 The Response of Natural Groundwater Bacteria to Groundwater Contamination by Gasoline in a Karst Region
    R825549C025 An Electrochemical Method for Acid Mine Drainage Remediation and Metals Recovery
    R825549C026 Sulfide Size and Morphology Identificaiton for Remediation of Acid Producing Mine Wastes
    R825549C027 Heavy Metals Removal from Dilute Aqueous Solutions using Biopolymers
    R825549C028 Neutron Activation Analysis for Heavy Metal Contaminants in the Environment
    R825549C029 Reducing Heavy Metal Availability to Perennial Grasses and Row-Crops Grown on Contaminated Soils and Mine Spoils
    R825549C030 Alachlor and Atrazine Losses from Runoff and Erosion in the Blue River Basin
    R825549C031 Biodetoxification of Mixed Solid and Hazardous Wastes by Staged Anaerobic Fermentation Conducted at Separate Redox and pH Environments
    R825549C032 Time Dependent Movement of Dioxin and Related Compounds in Soil
    R825549C033 Impact of Soil Microflora on Revegetation Efforts in Southeast Kansas
    R825549C034 Modeling the use of Plants in Remediation of Soil and Groundwater Contaminated by Hazardous Organic Substances
    R825549C035 Development of Electrochemical Processes for Improved Treatment of Lead Wastes
    R825549C036 Innovative Treatment and Bank Stabilization of Metals-Contaminated Soils and Tailings along Whitewood Creek, South Dakota
    R825549C037 Formation and Transformation of Pesticide Degradation Products Under Various Electron Acceptor Conditions
    R825549C038 The Effect of Redox Conditions on Transformations of Carbon Tetrachloride
    R825549C039 Remediation of Soil Contaminated with an Organic Phase
    R825549C040 Intelligent Process Design and Control for the Minimization of Waste Production and Treatment of Hazardous Waste
    R825549C041 Heavy Metals Removal from Contaminated Water Solutions
    R825549C042 Metals Soil Pollution and Vegetative Remediation
    R825549C043 Fate and Transport of Munitions Residues in Contaminated Soil
    R825549C044 The Role of Metallic Iron in the Biotransformation of Chlorinated Xenobiotics
    R825549C045 Use of Vegetation to Enhance Bioremediation of Surface Soils Contaminated with Pesticide Wastes
    R825549C046 Fate and Transport of Heavy Metals and Radionuclides in Soil: The Impacts of Vegetation
    R825549C047 Vegetative Interceptor Zones for Containment of Heavy Metal Pollutants
    R825549C048 Acid-Producing Metalliferous Waste Reclamation by Material Reprocessing and Vegetative Stabilization
    R825549C049 Laboratory and Field Evaluation of Upward Mobilization and Photodegradation of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxins and Furans in Soil
    R825549C050 Evaluation of Biosparging Performance and Process Fundamentals for Site Remediation
    R825549C051 Field Scale Bioremediation: Relationship of Parent Compound Disappearance to Humification, Mineralization, Leaching, Volatilization of Transformaiton Intermediates
    R825549C052 Chelating Extraction of Heavy Metals from Contaminated Soils
    R825549C053 Application of Anaerobic and Multiple-Electron-Acceptor Bioremediation to Chlorinated Aliphatic Subsurface Contamination
    R825549C054 Application of PGNAA Remote Sensing Methods to Real-Time, Non-Intrusive Determination of Contaminant Profiles in Soils
    R825549C055 Design and Development of an Innovative Industrial Scale Process to Economically Treat Waste Zinc Residues
    R825549C056 Remediation of Soils Contaminated with Wood-Treatment Chemicals (PCP and Creosote)
    R825549C057 Effects of Surfactants on the Bioavailability and Biodegradation of Contaminants in Soils
    R825549C058 Contaminant Binding to the Humin Fraction of Soil Organic Matter
    R825549C059 Identifying Ground-Water Threats from Improperly Abandoned Boreholes
    R825549C060 Uptake of BTEX Compounds by Hybrid Poplar Trees in Hazardous Waste Remediation
    R825549C061 Biofilm Barriers for Waste Containment
    R825549C062 Plant Assisted Remediation of Soil and Groundwater Contaminated by Hazardous Organic Substances: Experimental and Modeling Studies
    R825549C063 Extension of Laboratory Validated Treatment and Remediation Technologies to Field Problems in Aquifer Soil and Water Contamination by Organic Waste Chemicals