Degradation of Contaminant Mixtures

Most spills in the environment consist of contaminant mixtures, yet models for substrate degradation are most developed for describing the degradation of single contaminants. Models that attempt to incorporate more than one substrate are typically highly complex and thus their practical use is questioned. Similarly, most models are well-developed for pure cultures, yet the reality in the environment is a complex microbial community. The overall purpose of this project is to develop improved models for predicting the fate of chemical mixtures in the environment through a chemical lumping approach. In Dr. Pruden's lab, we are working to fully characterize the composition and dynamics (changes with time and space) of an aerobic microbial community degrading a 12-chemical mixture as part of this larger effort. The PI of this project is Dr. Kenneth Reardon in Chemical Engineering and the Co-PI is Dr. Charles Shackelford in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Project People:

Rachel Hanson, M.S. Candidate

B.S. Colorado State University, Chemical Engineering

Maria Virgina Gibbons, B.S. Candidate

Colorado State University, Environmental Engineering

Conference Proceedings :

Hanson, R.E., Sans, C., Hoelscher, M., Pruden, A., and K.F. Reardon. Using Molecular Tools to Monitor a Microbial Consortium Degrading a 12-Chemical Mixture. 26th Annual American Geophysical Union Hydrology Days, March 20 - 22, 2006, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.

Hanson, R.E., and A. Pruden. Dynamics of a CSTR Consortium Degrading a 12- Chemical Mixture. WEF/AWWA Student Conference, May 18, 2005, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY.

Collaborator Publications (Background):

Reardon, K.F., Mosteller, D.C., Rogers, J.B., DuTeau, N.M., and K.H. Kim. (2002). Biodegradation kinetics of aromatic hydrocarbon mixtures by pure and mixed bacterial cultures. Environ. Health Perspect. 110: 1005-1011 Suppl. 6.

Liao, K.H., Dobrew, I.D., Dennison, J.E., Andersen, M.E., Reisfeld, B., Reardon, K.F., Campain, J.A., Wei, W., Klein, M.T., Quann, R.J., and R.S.H. Yang. (2002). Application of biologically based computer modeling to simple or complex mixtures. Environ. Health Perspect. 110: 957-963 Suppl. 6.

Reardon, K.F., Mosteller, D.C., and J.D.B. Rogers. (2000) Biodegradation kinetics of benzene, toluene, and phenol as single and mixed substrates for Pseudomonas putida F1. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 69 (4): 385-400.