The overarching aim of the EU Kill Spill Consortium is to develop efficient, economically and environmentally viable biotechnological solutions for the clean-up of oil spills caused by maritime transport or offshore oil exploration and related processes.

Within this endeavor it is our task to advance compound-specific isotope analysis (SCIS) as an analytical tool to monitor biodegradation of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHS) in marine environments. The scientific novelty lies in

  • exploring the magnitude of C and H isotope fractionation as indicator of degradation of alkylated or non-alkylated two and three ring aromatic compounds
  • identifying “masking” of isotope fractionation due to  bioavailability limitations (caused by the low solubility of PAHs)
  • using CSIA as an analytical tool to investigate how much biosurfactants enhance the bioavailability of PAHs

Related publications:

Bergmann FD, Abu Laban NM, Meyer AH, Elsner M, Meckenstock RU. Dual (C, H) isotope fractionation in anaerobic low molecular weight (poly)aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) degradation: potential for field studies and mechanistic implications. ES&T, 2011.