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Microbial formation and degradation of oxygen-containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (OPAHs) in soil during short-term incubation

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2013
Author Wilcke Wolfgang, Kiesewetter Mario, Musa Bandowe Benjamin A.,
Project Oxidierte polyzyklische aromatische Kohlenwasserstoffe im Boden
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Environmental Pollution
Volume (Issue) 184
Page(s) 385 - 390
Title of proceedings Environmental Pollution
DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.09.020


We tested whether OPAHs were formed during 19-wk incubation of a fertile soil at optimum moisture in the dark. The soil had initial mean (±s.e., n = 3) concentrations of 22 ± 1.7 (Σ28PAHs) and 4.2 ± 0.34 μg/g (Σ14OPAHs). After 19 wk, individual PAH and OPAH concentrations had decreased by up to 14 and 37%, respectively. Decreases in % of initial concentrations were positively correlated with their KOW values for PAHs (r = 0.48, p = 0.022) and 9 OPAHs (r = 0.78, p = 0.013) but negatively, albeit not significantly, for 5 OPAHs (r = -0.75, p = 0.145) suggesting net formation of some OPAHs. The latter was supported by significantly increasing 1-indanone/fluorene ratios while the other OPAH to parent-PAH ratios remained constant or tended to increase. We conclude that OPAHs are formed in soils during microbial turnover of PAHs in a short time. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.