Natural attenuation characteristics and comprehensive toxicity changes of C9 aromatics under simulated marine conditions

Fanping Meng , Dawei Li , Jiangyue Wu , Jiaqi Liu , Aifeng Li


Received December 04, 2020,Revised , Accepted February 26, 2021, Available online March 11, 2021

Volume 33,2021,Pages 26-35

Microcosmic experiments were performed under a simulated marine environment to investigate the natural attenuation of C9 aromatics using nine components (propylbenzene, isopropylbenzene, 2-ethyltoluene, 3-ethyltoluene, 4-ethyltoluene, 1,2,3-trimethylbenzene, 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene, 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene, and indene). This research aims to assess the contribution of biodegradation and abiotic activity to total attenuation of C9 aromatics and ascertain the changes in the comprehensive toxicity of seawater in the natural environment. The process of natural attenuation indicates the agreement with pseudo-first-order kinetics for all nine components in microcosmic experiments. The half-lives of the nine main compounds in C9 aromatics ranged between 0.34 day and 0.44 day under optimal conditions. The experiments showed that the natural attenuation of nine aromatic hydrocarbons mainly occurred via abiotic processes. Seawater samples significantly inhibited the luminescence of P. phosphoreum (the luminescence inhibition ratio reached 100%) at the beginning of the experiment. In addition, the toxicity declined slowly and continued for 25 days. The attenuation kinetics and changes in toxicity could be applied to explore the natural attenuation of C9 aromatics in the marine environment.

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