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Title: Microbial degradation of petroleum in continental shelf sediments
Authors: U.S. Army Natick Laboratories.
Hunt, Patrick G. (Patrick Gatch)
Koutz, Fleetwood R.
Murrmann, R. P.
Martin, Thomas G.
Keywords: Continental shelf
Microbial degradation
Petroleum waste products
Surficial sediments
Coastal sediments
Oil pollution
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Special report (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)) ; 196.
Description: Special Report
Abstract: A study was conducted to determine whether petroleum waste products deposited in surficial sediments of the United States Continental Shelf would be subject to microbial degradation. Published information indicates that degradation of these waste products should occur under the aerobic conditions commonly present in the sediments, but that, under anaerobic conditions, degradation of hydrocarbons would, at best, be extremely slow. It was verified using carbon-14 labeled hydrocarbons that degradation of petroleum in sediments occurs when oxygen is very limited; however, it was estimated that several hundred years would be required for complete degradation to occur. Thus, it was concluded that, while degradation of petroleum waste products would occur in continental shelf sediments, the rate of degradation would be extremely slow under the low-oxygen conditions likely to be created by the high-oxygen demand of the petroleum wastes.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Special Report

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