Breaking Benzene: Translating 30+ Years of Anaerobic Bioremediation Research to Field Practice

SiREM Webinar Series continues on Anaerobic Bioremediation of Benzene.

Sandra is a Principal Scientist with more than 25 years of experience in bioremediation of chlorinated solvents, petroleum hydrocarbons, emerging contaminants and other recalcitrant compounds.

Courtney Toth is an emerging leader in anaerobic bioremediation. She holds a PhD in Environmental Microbiology from the University of Calgary and works in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto.


Hydrocarbons are toxic and widespread pollutants owing to releases or spills of petroleum chemicals into the environment. Decades of research have shown that various hydrocarbons including benzene (C6H6), a confirmed carcinogen, can be broken down by both aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms with specialized metabolic capabilities. Benzene-degrading microorganisms are widespread in nature and can proliferate after a spill event. But as many environmental practitioners will attest, active benzene degradation rarely occurs at sites devoid of oxygen. Are anaerobic benzene degraders simply proliferating too slowly to support bioremediation efforts? Are they unable to grow at all? Or are there other factors at play? This webinar will overview highlights from the past 30+ years of anaerobic benzene degradation research and discuss recent efforts to apply this knowledge at benzene-contaminated field sites across North America.

More Information

Watch Here: Breaking Benzene Webinar Recording

For consultation regarding benzene and anerobic bioremediation, contact Sandra at

Learn more about Sandra: Sandra Dworatzek | LinkedIn

Learn more about Courtney: Courtney Toth | LinkedIn