Remediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Xiaowei Xu, Suiliang Huang, Miklas Scholz, Yu Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Hydrocarbon pollution is a threat to the agricultural industry and the natural environment. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of persistent organic pollutants known for their carcinogenesis, teratogenesis and mutagenesis, making them harmful to humans and the ecological environment. This review paper critically assesses the environmental contamination issues associated with PAHs, with particular attention given to surface waters. An overview of the transport and transformation behaviours of various types of PAHs within surface waters, including the exchange between water and air, photodegradation, adsorption-desorption on particles, uptake by plants and biodegradation is given. Recent findings in areas such as phytoremediation and microbial degradation processes, which are relevant to agriculture, water resources management and environmental science, are highlighted. Finally, the paper recommends further research on the mechanisms of PAHs sorption to particles, and remediation and degradation of PAH by plants and microbes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalCAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption
  • Biodegradation
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Environmental science
  • Persistent organic pollutant
  • Remediation
  • Surface water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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