Nanoscale zerovalent iron alters soil bacterial community structure and inhibits chloroaromatic biodegradation potential in Aroclor 1242-contaminated soil
Tiltson, E.M., Collins, C., Mitchell, G., Princivalle, J. and Shaw, L. (2013) Nanoscale zerovalent iron alters soil bacterial community structure and inhibits chloroaromatic biodegradation potential in Aroclor 1242-contaminated soil. Environmental Pollution, 173. pp. 38-46. ISSN 0269-7491
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.09.018
Nanoscale zerovalent iron (nZVI) has potential for the remediation of organochlorine-contaminated environments. Environmental safety concerns associated with in situ deployment of nZVI include potential negative impacts on indigenous microbes whose biodegradative functions could contribute to contaminant remediation. With respect to a two-step polychlorinated biphenyl remediation scenario comprising nZVI dechlorination followed by aerobic biodegradation, we examined the effect of polyacrylic acid (PAA)-coated nZVI (mean diameter = 12.5 nm) applied at 10 g nZVI kg−1 to Aroclor-1242 contaminated and uncontaminated soil over 28 days. nZVI had a limited effect on Aroclor congener profiles, but, either directly or indirectly via changes to soil physico-chemical conditions (pH, Eh), nZVI addition caused perturbation to soil bacterial community composition, and reduced the activity of chloroaromatic mineralizing microorganisms. We conclude that nZVI addition has the potential to inhibit microbial functions that could be important for PCB remediation strategies combining nZVI treatment and biodegradation.