Analysis of Pentachlorophenol in Soils for Use in Bioremediation Studies

  • Ruth McGrath
  • Ian Singleton
Part of the Methods in Biotechnology™ book series (MIBT, volume 2)


Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is an envuonmentally persistent chemical that is toxic toward living organisms (1-4) The widespread use of PCP as a general biocide, especially for timber preservation, has led to the contamination of a variety of environments with this chemical (5,6). In particular, soils around wood treatment plants are often contaminated with PCP and bioremediation has been suggested as a useful method in treating pollution of this type (7-9). To carry out a bioremediation process (see Chapter 1), either environmental conditions are optimized, such that indigenous microflora capable of degrading the pollutants are stimulated, or microbial inoculants, known to degrade the chemicals involved, are added to the site (10,11). Central to bioremediation studies is the extraction and accurate analysis of pollutants. The analysis of chemicals in soils is problematic because of the wide variety of interactions that are possible between chemical and soil components. For example, adsorption of PCP to soils is known to be affected by clays (12,13), organic matter (14), and pH (15,16). Furthermore, these interactions are altered by changes in soil moisture (17). Standard methods developed for the recovery of pollutants from soils are timeconsuming and expensive because of the sample preparation required and the methods are not suited to the large number of samples required in bioremediation experiments. Also, workers involved in bioremediation often lack the specialist knowledge required for the efficient analysis of pollutants.


Soil Moisture Content High Performance Liquid Chro Soil Moisture Level High Performance Liquid Chro Indigenous Microflora 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc, Totowa, NJ 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth McGrath
    • 1
  • Ian Singleton
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity CollegeDublinIreland
  2. 2.Department of Soil ScienceUniversity of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia

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