Enhancing bioremediation of soils contaminated with organic compounds and heavy metals
PhD research student
Telephone: +44 (0)114 22 25786
Room: Kroto G17
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Raisa previously studied at the Institut Teknologi Bandung in Bandung, Indonesia and received her master degree in Environmental Engineering after graduating from her undergraduate program in Microbiology at the same institution. She covered a broad range of research experience in life science, including white-rot fungi growth induction by electromagnetic fields, biodiesel production using waste vegetable oil, and determining ecotoxicological effects of biodiesel using Daphnia magna and Allium cepa.
Contamination of soils by organic chemicals and heavy metals is a common problem related to the re-use of brownfield land and management of existing environmental impacts at industrial facilities. Low-cost, environmentally sustainable solutions are needed to address such issues. Often several measures must be implemented to achieve desired management objectives.
This project explores enhanced bioremediation of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and heavy metal contamination in soil to support tree plantations designed to reduce dust emissions at steel manufacturing facilities. The quality of existing or introduced soils at such sites will influence optimum tree growth, due to toxicity from contaminants, poor nutrient status or physical properties. This research will identify which factors limit tree development under these conditions, by examining the critical relationships between soil microorganisms and soil function for tree growth. Physical, geochemical and microbiological analysis of soils will be used to determine the effect of contaminants, nutrients and soil properties on soil microbes, soil processes, tree development and survival, linked to historical records and site practices. This fundamental information will be used to select low-cost amendments which can be added to these soils to mitigate the limiting factors and improve soil productivity to enhance tree growth and performance as a site management measure. Field “proof-of-concept” trials will explore the application of identified amendments for the bioremediation of soils from these industrial facilities, for a range of conditions.
This research is supported by Tata Steel.