The use of white rot fungus for remediation technology is an ex situ or in situ remediation used for the treatment of residual organic compound contamination. White rot fungus produces extracellular peroxidases and laccases enzymes to degrade lignin and these enzymes are able to catalyze the degradative attack on a variety of organic contaminants such as conventional explosives, semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and other recalcitrant contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and pentachlorophenol (PCP).
This technique consists of mixing contaminated soil with the white rot fungus and a substrate, such as woodchips, to stimulate the development of the fungus and to promote soil aeration. This technique is similar to composting but inoculation with the white rot fungus is necessary. Several factors affect the performance of this technique including, nitrogen and oxygen concentrations, potential of hydrogen (pH), humidity and temperature.
In Canada, the introduction of microbial strains into the environment is regulated under the New Substances Notification Regulations (NSNR) of the Canadian Environment Protection Act, 1999. Microorganisms must be on the Domestic Substances List (DSL) compiled by Environment Canada in order to be used in remediation procedures.
Composed by : Magalie Turgeon, National Research Council
Latest update provided by : Jennifer Holdner, M.Sc., Public Works Government Services Canada
Updated Date : March 1, 2015