Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Combining electrokinetic transport and bioremediation for enhanced removal of crude oil from contaminated marine sediments: Results of a long-term, mesocosm-scale experiment

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Angela SherryORCiD, Obioma Mejeha, Professor Ian Head



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Marine sediments represent an important sink of harmful petroleum hydrocarbons after an accidental oil spill. Electrobioremediation techniques, which combine electrokinetic transport and biodegradation processes, represent an emerging technological platform for a sustainable remediation of contaminated sediments. Here, we describe the results of a long-term mesocosm-scale electrobioremediation experiment for the treatment of marine sediments contaminated by crude oil. A dimensionally stable anode and a stainless-steel mesh cathode were employed to drive seawater electrolysis at a fixed current density of 11 A/m2. This approach allowed establishing conditions conducive to contaminants biodegradation, as confirmed by the enrichment of Alcanivorax borkumensis cells harboring the alkB-gene and other aerobic hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria. Oil chemistry analyses indicated that aromatic hydrocarbons were primarily removed from the sediment via electroosmosis and low molecular weight alkanes (nC6 to nC10) via biodegradation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cappello S, Cruz Viggi C, Yakimov M, Rossetti S, Matturro B, Molina L, Segura A, Marqués S, Yuste L, Sevilla E, Rojo F, Sherry A, Mejeha OK, Head IM, Malmquist LMV, Christensen JH, Kalogerakis N, Aulenta F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Water Research

Year: 2019

Volume: 157

Pages: 381-395

Print publication date: 15/06/2019

Online publication date: 03/04/2019

Acceptance date: 27/03/2019

Date deposited: 09/04/2019

ISSN (print): 0043-1354

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2448

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2019.03.094


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric