Microbial degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons

The main sources of BTEX and PAHs (aromatic hydrocarbons) into the environment are accidental spills from petroleum, industries activities and combustion processes. Especially PAHs are also released during incomplete combustion of natural materials such as wood. Many aromatic hydrocarbons have toxic, mutagenic and/or carcinogenic properties. They are degradable by naturally occurring microorganisms under oxic conditions, but the degradation in saturated sediments is limited due to shortage of electron acceptors.
What we do

ColFerroX iron oxide particles are made of Iron(III), which can perfectly act as terminal electron acceptor for microbial degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons. The colloidal form of ColFerroX particles enables the particles to be easily injected into the subsurface where they produce reaction barriers. The particles can then be used by microorganisms as electron acceptor thus enhancing the biodegradation of toxic compounds such as PAHs.


  • Applicable in anoxic aquifers
  • Long-term effect with a one-time application
  • Easy to implement
  • Confirmed in field test
  • Easily adjustable for specific site properties