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Effects of Potassium Permanganate and Hydrogen Peroxide on the Biodegradation of Weathered Crude Oil in Sediments from Indiana Harbor Canal

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The Indiana Harbor Canal shoreline is contaminated with high concentrations (up to 400 g oil/kg wet sediment) of highly weathered crude oil. Traditional bioremediation processes are not expected to be effective because the concentrations of readily biodegradable compounds are relatively low, the concentrations of potentially toxic compounds may be high, and the availability of oxygen is limited. In this research the ability of chemical oxidation to increase the bioavailability and biodegradability of the oil is being investigated. Two oxidants are being studied: potassium permanganate and hydrogen peroxide. In addition to their ability to increase the aqueous solubility and biodegradability of oil components (Stewart, 1965; Gates, 2001), both oxidants can generate oxygen as byproducts of their decomposition (Schlegel, 1977; Britton, 1985; Ainsworth, 1989). A feasibility study was conducted to investigate the ability of chemical oxidation to increase the biodegradability of this oil. This report describes the results of a bench-scale investigation of the effects of potassium permanganate and hydrogen peroxide on the rate and extent of oil biodegradation in sediments from the Indiana Harbor Canal.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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