Bioremediation of groundwater contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons applied at a site in Belgrade (Serbia)

Sandra Sretko Bulatović, Nenad Marić, Tatjana Šolević Knudsen, Jelena Avdalović, Mila Vladislav Ilić, Branimir Jovančićević, Miroslav M Vrvić


Due to their extensive use, petroleum hydrocarbons are among the most common groundwater contaminants. Compared to the traditional methods of physical pumping of contamination from the aquifer and subsequent treatment (e.g. pump and treat), bioremediation is an economically cost-effective technology. The aim of this remediation approach is to biologically, most often by the microbiological activity, transform contaminants into non-toxic compounds. More precisely, it is an active remediation process that involves biostimulation (an increase of aquifer oxygenation, the addition of nutrients) and/or bioaugmentation (injection of a concentrated and specialized population of microorganisms). Using both biostimulation and bioaugmen­ta­tion, enhanced in situ groundwater bioremediation was applied at a hydro­carbon-contaminated site in Belgrade. The bioremediation treatment, applied during a twelve months period, was highly efficient in reducing concentrations of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) to acceptable levels. In the piezometer P-5 concentration of TPH has been reduced for 98.55 %, in the piezometer P-6 for 98.30 % and in the piezometer P-7 concentration of TPH has been reduced for 98.09 %. These results provide strong evidence on the potential of this remediation approach to overcome site-limiting factors and enhance microbiological activity in order to reduce groundwater contamination.


enhanced in situ bioremediation; hydrocarbon contaminated groundwater; biodegradation

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