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Field Validation of Technologies for Anaerobic Benzene and Alkylbenzene Bioremediation

Status: 
Active
Competition: 
Genomic Applications Partnership Program
Sector: 
Environment
Genome Centre(s):
Ontario Genomics
Project Leader(s):
Elizabeth A. Edwards (University of Toronto)
Receptor Leader(s):
Sandra Dworatzek (SiREM, a Division of Geosyntec Consultants International Inc.)
Project Description: 

There are thousands of sites in Canada contaminated with benzene, and the alkylbenzenes toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (collectively known as BTEX), negatively impacting soil and groundwater resources. Current BTEX remediation technologies are often too costly and not applicable at the many sites with prevailing anoxic conditions. Building on previous research that developed, characterized and scaled-up a single methanogenic benzene-degrading culture, this GAPP project’s goal is to demonstrate the efficacy of a broader set of novel and specialized anaerobic bioaugmentation cultures in pilot trials at three different benzene contaminated sites. The team will use metagenome-enabled analysis, groundwater modeling, and tracking of the microbial populations and functional genes associated with anaerobic BTEX biodegradation in the subsurface to improve overall remediation outcomes and to restore ecosystem health.