Combining HPLC-GCXGC, GCXGC/ToF-MS, and selected ecotoxicity assays for detailed monitoring of petroleum hydrocarbon degradation in soil and leaching water
Faculty of Sciences. Bioscience Engineering
Environmental science and technology / American Chemical Society. - Easton, Pa
, p. 7651-7657
University of Antwerp
HPLC-GCXGC/FID (high-performance liquid chromatography followed by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with flame-ionization detection) and GCXGC/ToF-MS (comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry) were used to study the biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in soil microcosms during 20 weeks. Two soils were studied: one spiked with fresh diesel and one field sample containing weathered diesel-like oil. Nutrient amended and unamended samples were included. Total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) levels in spiked soil decreased from 15000 to 7500 mg/kg d.m. and from 12000 to 4000 mg/kg d.m. in the field soil. Linear alkanes and aromatic hydrocarbons were better biodegradable (>60% degraded) than iso-alkanes; cycloalkanes were least degradable (<40%). Aromatic hydrocarbons up to three rings showed better degradability than n-alkanes. GCXGC/ToF-MS analysis of leaching water showed that initially various oxygenated hydrocarbons were produced. Compound peaks seemed to move up and rightward in the GCXGC chromatograms, indicating that more polar and heavier compounds were formed as biodegradation proceeded. Nutrient amendment can increase TPH removal rates, but had adverse effects on ecotoxicity and leaching potential in our experiment. This was explained by observed shifts in the soil microbial community. Ecotoxicity assays showed that residual TPH still inhibited cress (Lepidium sativum) seed germination, but the leaching water was no longer toxic toward luminescent bacteria (Vibrio fischeri).