Categories: News & Events

SiREM and University of Toronto Receive Research Funding for Anaerobic Benzene Culture Research

11 July 2016: Genome Canada announced research funding under the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) (http://www.genomecanada.ca/en/news-and-events/news-releases/new-genomic-application-projects-spur-innovation-across-many-canadian) that could revolutionize how benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene contaminated sites are cleaned up. Benzene will be a project focus given its toxicity, carcinogenicity and prevalence as a groundwater contaminant.

SiREM is partnering with University of Toronto (U of T) Professor Elizabeth Edwards to scale-up, field test and commercialize a unique microbial culture that detoxifies benzene. The culture was enriched from soil samples taken at a contaminated oil refinery and gas station site, and unlike most benzene degraders, the culture works in the absence of oxygen. Oxygen addition to the subsurface (aerobic bioremediation) is expensive; anaerobic benzene degradation would dramatically lower remediation costs and minimize disruptions to the environment during site cleanup. The benzene culture is a promising candidate for a bioaugmentation and could be used to introduce the required microorganisms where they are present at low concentrations or absent from a site.

SiREM will grow hundreds of liters of the novel culture using specialized bioreactors and test the culture at sites owned by a third project partner Federated Co-operatives Limited. Other partners include Mitacs and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, who will provide matching financial support. In total, the project’s budget is nearly $1 million over three years.

The overall goal of the project is to increase the options available for cost effective and sustainable bioremediation for the large number of BTEX contaminated sites world-wide.

For more information, contact Sandra Dworatzek at sdworatzek@siremlab.com

Jamie Raper

Comments are closed.

Share
Published by
Jamie Raper

Recent Posts

  • News & Events
  • Newsletter

Remediation Pathways – Winter 2019

2 weeks ago
  • News & Events
  • Webinars

Webinar Series – Next Webinar, March 28th, 2019 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Eastern

Our next webinar is scheduled for Thursday, March 28th, 2019 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT, featuring Dr. David Freedman.…

4 weeks ago
  • News & Events

Remediation Short Course “Optimization and Monitoring for Remediation of Chlorinated and Related Compounds” to be held in Atlanta, Greenville, and Charlotte Mar 12-14th

SiREM is co-hosting half-day short-courses on recent technical advances in the characterization and remediation of chlorinated volatile organic compounds and…

1 month ago
  • News & Events

Remediation Short Course “Optimization and Monitoring for Remediation of Chlorinated and Related Compounds’ to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky

SiREM is co-hosting half-day short-courses on recent technical advances in the characterization and remediation of chlorinated volatile organic compounds and…

2 months ago
  • News & Events

SiREM Bioaugmentation/Sediment Sampler Technologies Featured at RemTEC Summit

SiREM technologies related to anaerobic remediation of BTEX compounds and sediment samplers for PCBs and metals will be featured in…

2 months ago
  • News & Events

SiREM Bioaugmentation/Sampler Technologies Featured at AEHS West Coast Conference

Sandra Dworatzek and Michael Healey of SiREM will present at Association for Environmental Health and Sciences Foundation (AEHS) 29th Annual…

2 months ago