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Fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons during composting of lagooning sewage sludge

Abstract : The fate of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), targeted by the USEPA agency, has been investigated during composting of lagooning sludge. Composting shows efficient decrease of the content and the bioavailability of each PAH. Biodegradation and sorption are suggested as the main mechanisms contributing to this decrease. During the stabilization phase of composting, extensive microbial degradation of PAHs, mainly those with a low number of aromatic rings, was achieved following development of intense thermophilic communities. However, partial sorption of PAH to non-accessible sites temporarily limits the mobility mainly of PAHs with a high number of aromatic rings plus acenaphthene and acenaphthylene, and allows them to escape microbial attack. During the maturation phase, the development of a mesophilic population could play an important role in the degradation of the remaining PAH. During this phase of composting, PAH sequestration and binding of their oxidative metabolites within new-formed humic substances might also explain PAH decrease at the end of composting. The tendency of change of content or bioavailability of various PAH compounds during composting is found to be strongly related to the number of their aromatic rings, their molecular weight and structure.
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Soumia Amir, Mohamed Hafidi, Georges Merlina, Hassan Hamdi, Jean-Claude Revel. Fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons during composting of lagooning sewage sludge. Chemosphere, Elsevier, 2005, vol. 58, pp. 449-458. ⟨10.1016/j.chemosphere.2004.09.039⟩. ⟨hal-00780262⟩



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