Preparation of integrative cubes as a novel biological permeable reactive barrier medium for the enhancement of in situ aerobic bioremediation of nitrobenzene-contaminated groundwater

  • Na Liu
  • Yuting Zhang
  • Yonglei AnEmail author
  • Liu Wang
Original Article


Recent studies have indicated that in situ aerobic bioremediation is one of the most effective methods for remediating groundwater contaminated with nitrobenzene (NB). Aerobic bioremediation is largely dependent on the maintenance of adequate dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in the groundwater. Traditional in situ aeration has various disadvantages, such as high operational costs and nonuniform aeration. In this study, integrative cubes were prepared and utilized as a novel biological permeable reactive barrier (bio-PRB) medium to enhance the aerobic bioremediation of NB-contaminated groundwater. The results revealed an NB removal rate greater than 98.68% after 15–20 days of continuous oxygen release from the bio-PRB medium. DO concentrations reached 8.0 mg/L during treatment, and NB-degrading bacteria were able to tolerate a range of pH conditions. This multifaceted bio-PRB medium can simultaneously adsorb and biodegrade NB, release oxygen, and neutralize the pH with phosphate buffer. The results of this study suggest that this bio-PRB medium represents a highly effective in situ bioremediation method for NB-contaminated groundwater.


Bioremediation Groundwater Nitrobenzene Oxygen-releasing compounds Permeable reactive barrier 



Biological permeable reactive barrier


Dissolved oxygen


Energy-dispersive spectrometer




Oxygen-releasing compounds


Polyvinyl alcohol


Polyvinyl alcohol and biochar


Polyvinyl alcohol and microorganisms


Polyvinyl alcohol, biochar and microorganisms


Scanning electron microscope



This study was supported by the Joint Foundation of Key Laboratory of Institute of Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology, CAGS (KF201609) and Science and Technology Development Project of Jilin Province (20160520076JH).

Supplementary material

12665_2018_7890_MOESM1_ESM.docx (814 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 813 KB)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Na Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yuting Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yonglei An
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Liu Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Groundwater Resources and Environment, Ministry of EducationJilin UniversityChangchunPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory of Water Resources and EnvironmentJilin UniversityChangchunPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of New Energy and EnvironmentJilin UniversityChangchunPeople’s Republic of China

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