Kill Spill

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


  • S. Marozava, A. Meyer, A. Perez-de-Mora, M. Gharasoo, L. Zhuo, H. Wang, O. Cirpka, R. Meckenstock, and M. Elsner, Mass Transfer Limitation During Slow Anaerobic Biodegradation of 2-Methylnaphthalene, Environ. Sci. Technol. 53 (2019) pp. 9481-9490, DOI:10.1021/acs.est.9b01152
  • 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.