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Title: Evaluation of the potential use of microorganisms in the cleanup of petroleum hydrocarbon spills in soils
Authors: Gunnison, Douglas
Keywords: Hydrocarbons--Biodegradation
Oil pollution of soils
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station.
Series/Report no.: Technical Report;EL-91-13
Abstract: A study was undertaken to examine the feasibility of using native soil microflora to degrade diesel fuel, fuel oil, and motor oils within the soil matrix; to isolate and identify those environmental factors controlling the rate and extent of degradation; and to develop procedures to optimize the rate and extent of biodegradation achieved. The work demonstrated that native soil microorganisms were able to bring about moderate to substantial removal of petroleum hydrocarbons from soils contaminated with JP-5 and diesel fuel. Some removal was noted upon addition of water only, but addition of water to the point of flooding did not necessarily stimulate degradation. Fertilization was effective in stimulating degradation under dry (unflooded) conditions for both JP-5- and diesel-contaminated soils. Fertilization was also sometimes important where biotreatment was effective under anaerobic conditions, but some of the biotreatment under anaerobic conditions may have resulted from initial oxidation of ammonium in the fertilizer to supply nitrate as an alternate electron acceptor. Based on the results of this work, use of native soil microflora to degrade diesel fuel, fuel oil, and motor oils within the soil matrix is feasible. Those environmental factors most important in controlling the rate and extent of degradation are moisture, nutrients, and oxygen, and, under anaerobic conditions, nitrate. Procedures to optimize treatment should focus on methods to determine the exact amounts of fertilizer and nitrate to add, and the rate at which addition should occur.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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