James P Berry - Research Student
Kroto Research Institute
University of Sheffield
Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 5785
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 5700
Research group: Cell-Mineral Research Centre
Research project: Molecular biology approaches for the characterisation and the enhancement of PAH biodegradation in coke oven effluents.
The coking process, the essential transformation of coal into coke for use in metal production, generates a large amount of hazardous liquid waste. Many PAHs (PolyAromatic Hydrocarbons) have been detected in coke oven effluents, including a series of compounds identified as Priority Hazardous Substances in the Water Framework Directive.
Coke oven waste is treated by a biological effluent treatment process to bring toxic emissions below legal limits. Although some chemical and physical parameters of this treatment are relatively well controlled, biological factors which can play a major role in PAH degradation have not been fully characterised and are poorly understood. Molecular biology methods can be used to fully characterise at the molecular level the bacterial species involved in PAH degradation, and to enhance the biodegradation capabilities of the bacterial communities.