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Bioconversion of mobile organo-mineral geosorbents: microbial effects on reactivity and mobility
Institution: Institute of Earth Sciences
W├Âllnitzer Str. 7
07749 Jena
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Sneha Narvekar

Transport of nutrient and pollutants in soils is affected by the presence of colloidal and particulate organomineral compounds which acts as mobile geosorbants. In vadose zone and aquifers, pure and organic modified Fe and Mn oxy-hydroxides are important Nano particulate geosorbants. In particular for strong sorbing substances like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PHAs), heavy metals and radionuclides, formation and release of such substances may result in a marked increase of contaminant solubility and mobility.

Colloids are affected by various factors in soil like Contaminant presents, microorganisms and their products, air water interface, transient flow and chemistry of flow water. Nanoparticulate geososrbants exhibit unique surface properties dependent upon size. These properties are severely affected microbial conversion. Direct microbial effects are caused by redox reactions which result in production of corrosive compounds like acids, resulting into corrosive action on metals. This will result in decrease in size and new arrangement of surface sites. Microbial production of EPS and biofilms may also lead to corrosive action on metals and affect the colloidal stability and mobility of geosorbents. Also transient flow conditions - wetting and drying cycles of soils have been identified as key factors governing the mobilization of soil colloids.

The objective of this study is to fundamentally understand how microbe-mediated processes and interactions effect composition, structure and properties of mobile natural geosorbents and their reactivity and mobility in unsaturated soil.

Home PhD projects Narvekar, Sneha: Bioconversion of mobile organo-mineral geosorbents: microbial effects on reactivity and mobility