Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 34, pp 34392–34402 | Cite as

Simulated reactive zone with emulsified vegetable oil for the long-term remediation of Cr(VI)-contaminated aquifer: dynamic evolution of geological parameters and groundwater microbial community

  • Jun Dong
  • Jinqiu Yu
  • Qiburi BaoEmail author
Research Article


Cr(VI), which is highly toxic and soluble, is one of the most challenging groundwater contaminants. Previous work has indicated that emulsified vegetable oil (EVO) is an effective in situ amendment for removing Cr(VI) from groundwater. However, the spatial and temporal changes in geological parameters and microbial community structures throughout the remediation period are poorly understood. In this study, a large laboratory-scale sand-packed chamber (reactive zone of 100 × 50 × 30 cm) was used to simulate the bioremediation of Cr(VI)-contaminated aquifer by EVO over a 512-day period. Various geological parameters and microbial communities were monitored during both the establishment and remediation stages. The results indicate that several biogeochemical reactions occurred in a specific sequence following the injection of EVO, creating an acidic and reducing environment. A shift in the community structure and a decrease in the community diversity were observed. The abundance of microbes involved in the degradation of EVO and reduction of electron acceptors significantly increased. Then, the EVO reactive zone was flushed with Cr(VI)-contaminated groundwater. Biogeochemical reactions were inhibited after the inflow of Cr(VI) and subsequently recovered a month later. The pH of the aquifer returned to the initial neutral condition (approximately 7.2). The EVO reactive zone could remediate Cr(VI)-contaminated groundwater at an efficiency exceeding 97% over 480 days. Biogeochemistry played a major role in the early period (0~75 days). In the later period (240~480 days), the remediation of Cr(VI) in the reactive zone depended mostly on bio-reduction by Cr(VI)-reducing bacteria.


Chromium Bioremediation Emulsified vegetable oil In situ reactive zone High-throughput sequencing Microbial community 


Funding information

This research was financially funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41572214, 41772241 and 41602252), the Natural Science Foundation of Jilin Province (No. 20130101027JC), and “The 12th Five-Year Plan” science and technology research projects of the Education Department of Jilin Province (No. 2014B012); the work was supported by the Key Laboratory of Groundwater Resources and Environment, Ministry of Education.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3386_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (215 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 215 kb)


  1. Alam MZ, Malik A (2008) Chromate resistance, transport and bioreduction by Exiguobacterium sp ZM-2 isolated from agricultural soil irrigated with tannery effluent. J Basic Microbiol 48:416–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson RT, Vrionis HA, Ortiz-Bernad I, Resch CT, Long PE, Dayvault R, Karp K, Marutzky S, Metzler DR, Peacock A, White DC, Lowe M, Lovley DR (2003) Stimulating the in situ activity of Geobacter species to remove uranium from the groundwater of a uranium-contaminated aquifer. Appl Environ Microbiol 69:5884–5891CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bao P, Hu ZY, Wang XJ, Chen J, Ba YX, Hua J, Zhu CY, Zhong M, Wu CY (2012) Dechlorination of p,p '-DDTs coupled with sulfate reduction by novel sulfate-reducing bacterium Clostridium sp BXM. Environ Pollut 162:303–310. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borden RC (2007) Concurrent bioremediation of perchlorate and 1,1,1-trichloroethane in an EVO barrier. J Contam Hydrol 94:13–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Borden RC, Beckwith WJ, Lieberman MT, Akladiss N, Hill SR (2007) Enhanced anaerobic bioremediation of a TCE source at the Tarheel Army Missile Plant using EOS. Remediat J 17:5–19. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Borden RC, Rodriguez BX (2006) Evaluation of slow release substrates for anaerobic bioremediation. Bioremed J 10:59–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brodie EL, Joyner DC, Faybishenko B, Conrad ME, Rios-Velazquez C, Malave J, Martinez R, Mork B, Willett A, Koenigsberg S, Herman DJ, Firestone MK, Hazen TC (2011) Microbial community response to addition of polylactate compounds to stimulate hexavalent chromium reduction in groundwater. Chemosphere 85:660–665. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chang DH, Lee JB, Lee GH, Rhee MS, Lee H, Bae KS, Park DS, Kim BC (2013) Sunxiuqinia dokdonensis sp nov., isolated from deep sub-seafloor sediment. J Microbiol 51:741–746. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen MJ, Liu CS, Chen PC, Tong H, Li FB, Qiao JT, Lan Q (2016) Dynamics of the microbial community and Fe(III)-reducing and dechlorinating microorganisms in response to pentachlorophenol transformation in paddy soil. J Hazard Mater 312:97–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen MJ, Tong H, Liu CS, Chen DD, Li FB, Qiao JT (2016) A humic substance analogue AQDS stimulates Geobacter sp abundance and enhances pentachlorophenol transformation in a paddy soil. Chemosphere 160:141–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Divyasree P, Braun JJ, Subramanian S (2014) Comparative studies on the bioremediation of hexavalent and trivalent chromium using Citrobacter freundii: part I-effect of parameters controlling biosorption. Int J Environ Res 8:1127–1134Google Scholar
  12. Dogan NM, Kantar C, Gulcan S, Dodge CJ, Yilmaz BC, Mazmanci MA (2011) Chromium(VI) bioremoval by Pseudomonas acteria: role of microbial exudates for natural attenuation and biotreatment of Cr(VI) contamination. Environ Sci Technol 45:2278–2285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dong J, Li BW, Bao QBR (2017) In situ reactive zone with modified Mg(OH)(2) for remediation of heavy metal polluted groundwater: immobilization and interaction of Cr(III), Pb(II) and Cd(II). J Contam Hydrol 199:50–57. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ellis DE, Lutz EJ, Odom JM, Buchanan RJ, Bartlett CL, Lee MD, Harkness MR, Deweerd KA (2000) Bioaugmentation for accelerated in situ anaerobic bioremediation. Environ Sci Technol 34:2254–2260. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Faybishenko B, Hazen TC, Long PE, Brodie EL, Conrad ME, Hubbard SS, Christensen JN, Joyner D, Borglin SE, Chakraborty R, Williams KH, Peterson JE, Chen J, Brown ST, Tokunaga TK, Wan J, Firestone M, Newcomer DR, Resch CT, Cantrell KJ, Willett A, Koenigsberg S (2008) In situ long-term reductive bioimmobilization of Cr(VI) in groundwater using hydrogen release compound. Environ Sci Technol 42:8478–8485. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fu F, Hu M, Tang B, Han W, Cheng Z (2015) Removal of Cr(VI) from wastewater using acid-washed zero-valent iron catalyzed by polyoxometalate under acid conditions: efficacy, reaction mechanism and influencing factors. J Taiwan Inst Chem Eng 47:177–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gihring TM, Zhang GX, Brandt CC, Brooks SC, Campbell JH, Carroll S, Criddle CS, Green SJ, Jardine P, Kostka JE, Lowe K, Mehlhorn TL, Overholt W, Watson DB, Yang ZM, Wu WM, Schadt CW (2011) A limited microbial consortium is responsible for extended bioreduction of uranium in a contaminated aquifer. Appl Environ Microbiol 77:5955–5965CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harkness M, Fisher A (2013) Use of emulsified vegetable oil to support bioremediation of TCE DNAPL in soil columns. J Contam Hydrol 151:16–33. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hunter WJ (2001) Use of vegetable oil in a pilot-scale denitrifying barrier. J Contam Hydrol 53:119–131. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kao CM, Liao HY, Chien CC, Tseng YK, Tang P, Lin CE, Chen SC (2016) The change of microbial community from chlorinated solvent-contaminated groundwater after biostimulation using the metagenome analysis. J Hazard Mater 302:144–150. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kotik M, Davidová A, Voříšková J, Baldrian P (2013) Bacterial communities in tetrachloroethene-polluted groundwaters: a case study. Sci Total Environ 454-455:517–527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Li J, Chen Z, Shen J, Wang B, Fan L (2017) Influence of phosphate, citrate and nitrilotriacetic acid on the removal of aqueous hexavalent chromium by zero-valent iron at circumneutral pH. J Taiwan Inst Chem Eng 80:269–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Liang SH, Kuo YC, Chen SH, Chen CY, Kao CM (2013) Development of a slow polycolloid-releasing substrate (SPRS) biobarrier to remediate TCE-contaminated aquifers. J Hazard Mater 254:107–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lindow NL, Borden RC (2005) Anaerobic bioremediation of acid mine drainage using emulsified soybean oil. Mine Water Environ 24:199–208. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lovley DR, Anderson RT (2000) Influence of dissimilatory metal reduction on fate of organic and metal contaminants in the subsurface. Hydrogeol J 8:77–88. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mitchell AL, Scheremetjew M, Denise H, Potter S, Tarkowska A, Qureshi M, Salazar GA, Pesseat S, Boland MA, Hunter Fiona MI, ten Hoopen P, Alako B, Amid C, Wilkinson DJ, Curtis TP, Cochrane G, Finn RD (2018) EBI metagenomics in 2017: enriching the analysis of microbial communities, from sequence reads to assemblies. Nucleic Acids Res 46:726–735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Okemgbo AA, Hill HH, Metcalf SG, Bachelor M (1999) Metal ion interferences in reverse polarity capillary zone electrophoretic analysis of Hanford Defense Waste for ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and n-hydroxyethylethylenediaminetriacetic acid (HEDTA ). Anal Chim Acta 396:105–116. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Qu LY, Zhu FL, Hong XG, Gao W, Chen JH, Sun XQ (2011) Sunxiuqinia elliptica gen. nov., sp nov., a member of the phylum Bacteroidetes isolated from sediment in a sea cucumber farm. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 61:2885–2889CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sarangi A, Krishnan C (2008) Comparison of in vitro Cr(VI) reduction by CFEs of chromate resistant bacteria isolated from chromate contaminated soil. Bioresour Technol 99:4130–4137. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sattley WM, Jung DO, Madigan MT (2008) Psychrosinus fermentans gen. nov., sp nov., a lactate-fermenting bacterium from near-freezing oxycline waters of a meromictic Antarctic lake. FEMS Microbiol Lett 287:121–127. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Shah V, Zakrzewski M, Wibberg D, Eikmeyer F, Schlüter A, Madamwar D (2013) Taxonomic profiling and metagenome analysis of a microbial community from a habitat contaminated with industrial discharges. Microb Ecol 66:533–550. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Suthersan SS, Payne FC (2005) In situ remediation engineering. CRC Press, Boca Raton, p 511Google Scholar
  33. Takai K, Abe M, Miyazaki M, Koide O, Nunoura T, Imachi H, Inagaki F, Kobayashi T (2013) Sunxiuqinia faeciviva sp. nov., a facultatively anaerobic organoheterotroph of the Bacteroidetes isolated from deep subseafloor sediment. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 63:1602–1609. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tang GP, Watson DB, Wu WM, Schadt CW, Parker JC, Brooks SC (2013) U(VI) bioreduction with emulsified vegetable oil as the electron donor - model application to a field test. Environ Sci Technol 47:3218–3225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tang GP, Wu WM, Watson DB, Parker JC, Schadt CW, Shi XQ, Brooks SC (2013) U(VI) bioreduction with emulsified vegetable oil as the electron donor - microcosm tests and model development. Environ Sci Technol 47:3209–3217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wang ZC, Gao MC, She ZL, Jin CJ, Zhao YG, Yang SY, Guo L, Wang S (2015) Effects of hexavalent chromium on performance and microbial community of an aerobic granular sequencing batch reactor. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22:4575–4586. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wang Q, Garrity GM, Tiedje JM, Cole JR (2007) Naïve Bayesian classifier for rapid assignment of rRNA sequences into the new bacterial taxonomy. Appl Environ Microbiol 73:5261–5267. Accessed Nov 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wang XM, Li ZF, Zhou XQ, Wang QQ, Wu YG, Saino MY, Bai X (2016) Study on the bio-methane yield and microbial community structure in enzyme enhanced anaerobic co-digestion of cow manure and corn straw. Bioresour Technol 219:150–157. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wang XR, Yan XH, Wang Q (2011) Case study of demonstration project of typical chrome contaminated sites remediation. In: International Conference on Contaminated Sites Remediation 2011 International Forum (RCST) 2011), Chongqing, China, p 203–213Google Scholar
  40. Watson DB, Wu WM, Mehlhorn T, Tang GP, Earles J, Lowe K, Gihring TM, Zhang GX, Phillips J, Boyanov MI, Spalding BP, Schadt C, Kemner KM, Criddle CS, Jardine PM, Brooks SC (2013) In situ bioremediation of uranium with emulsified vegetable oil as the electron donor. Environ Sci Technol 47:6440–6448. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wen CY, Sheng H, Ren LM, Dong Y, Dong J (2017) Study on the removal of hexavalent chromium from contaminated groundwater using emulsified vegetable oil. Process Saf Environ 109:599–608CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Xu WH, Liu YG, Zeng GM, Li X, Song HX, Peng QQ (2009) Characterization of Cr(VI) resistance and reduction by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Trans Nonferrous Metals Soc China 19:1336–1341. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Xu S, Lu WJ, Liu YT, Ming ZY, Liu YJ, Meng RH, Wang HT (2017) Structure and diversity of bacterial communities in two large sanitary landfills in China as revealed by high-throughput sequencing (MiSeq). Waste Manag 63:41–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Xu D, Xiao ER, Xu P, Zhou Y, He F, Zhou QH, Xu D, Wu ZB (2017) Performance and microbial communities of completely autotrophic denitrification in a bioelectrochemically-assisted constructed wetland system for nitrate removal. Bioresour Technol 228:39–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Yin Z, Zhang JC, Liao SL, Ma Q, Wang QG, Zhang JF (2015) Research and application of the remediation technology for the chromium contaminated site. Environ Eng 01:159–162 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  46. Zhang P, Van Nostrand JD, He ZL, Chakraborty R, Deng Y, Curtis D, Fields MW, Hazen TC, Arkin AP, Zhou JZ (2015) A slow-release substrate stimulates groundwater microbial communities for long-term in situ Cr(VI) reduction. Environ Sci Technol 49:12922–12931. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Zhang JB, Wu PX, Hao B, Yu ZN (2011) Heterotrophic nitrification and aerobic denitrification by the bacterium Pseudomonas stutzeri YZN-001. Bioresour Technol 102:9866–9869. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Groundwater Resources and Environment, Ministry of EducationJilin UniversityChangchunChina

Personalised recommendations