Superfund Research Program
Ecology and Diversity of BTEX Degrading Bacteria in Bioreactors and Aquifers
Project Leader: James M. Tiedje
Grant Number: P42ES004911
Funding Period: 1995 - 2000
Project Summary (1995-2000)
Petroleum hydrocarbons from oil production, refining, distribution and use (e.g., gasoline) are the most widespread soil and water pollutants in the country. Many of these compounds can be degraded by naturally-occurring microorganisms, but the degradation is slow and is often limited by the amount of oxygen available in the subsurface environment. Recently, several teams have identified unique naturally occurring microorganisms that can degrade some of these compounds in the absence of oxygen by using other oxidants such as iron, sulfate or nitrate. The aim of this research is to isolate these organisms, develop methods for monitoring microbial degradation and evaluate the bioremediation potential of the organisms isolated.