Optimization of Landfarming Amendments Based on Soil Texture and Crude Oil Concentration

  • Marcelo F. OrtegaEmail author
  • Diego E. Guerrero
  • María J. García-Martínez
  • David Bolonio
  • Juan F. Llamas
  • Laureano Canoira
  • José Luis R. Gallego


This work examines the rates of bioremediation during a landfarming process. A field study was performed using three types of soil, which were contaminated with two different hydrocarbon concentrations: 20,000 and 50,000 ppm of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH). They were subjected to landfarming under the action of different treatments, based on the provision of irrigation, aeration by rototilling, fertilizer, and surfactant. The biodegradation of TPH, considering concentration and families of hydrocarbon compounds (including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs), was precisely measured for a period of 486 days. The results show how biodegradation rates depend on soil texture, initial contamination level, and type of amendment. Thus, the combination of fertilizer, irrigation, and aeration was the best treatment for treating the soil contaminated with 20,000 ppm of TPH (TPH final concentrations were reduced to a range of 49 to 62% depending on the soil texture). In the case of parcels contaminated with 50,000 ppm of TPH, the most effective treatment combined the supply of fertilizer, surfactant, irrigation, and aeration (TPH final concentrations were reduced to a range of 47 to 63%, depending on the soil texture). The best biodegradation results are obtained for soils with coarser textures and using the treatment with fertilizer, irrigation, and aeration. In addition, the application of surfactant did not imply a significant improvement in the level of biodegradation of hydrocarbons in soil contaminated with 20,000 ppm of TPH, whereas in soils contaminated with 50,000 ppm of TPH, it played a leading role.

Graphical Abstract


Soil contamination Hydrocarbon Biodegradation Landfarming Light crude oil Biostimulation 



The authors thank Marta García Ariza, who coordinated the project and collaborated throughout the study.

Funding Information

The authors thank Repsol for financial support of this work through the project “Study of indicator parameters of the feasibility and monitoring of an ex-situ bioremediation project.”


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Energy and Fuels, ETS Ingenieros de Minas y EnergíaUniversidad Politécnica de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Facultad de Ingeniería AgronomicaUniversidad Nacional del EsteMinga GuazúParaguay
  3. 3.Environmental Biotechnology and Geochemistry Group, Campus de MieresUniversidad de OviedoMieresSpain

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