Degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons from bottom sludge of crude oil storage tanks using in-vessel composting followed by oxidation with hydrogen peroxide and Fenton


In this research the feasibility of aerated in-vessel composting process followed by chemical oxidation with H2O2 and Fenton for removal of petroleum hydrocarbons from oily sludge of crude oil storage tanks was investigated. The ratios of the sludge to immature compost were 1:0 (as abiotic control), 1:2, 1:4, 1:6, 1:8 and 1:10 (as dry basis) at a C:N:P ratio of 100:5:1 and 55 % moisture content for a period of 10 weeks. Six concentrations of H2O2 and Fenton were added to the compost mixture for a period of 24- and 48-h reaction times. Results showed that petroleum hydrocarbons removal in ratios of 1:2, 1:4, 1:6, 1:8 and 1:10 were 66.6, 73.2, 74.8, 80.2 and 79.9 %, respectively. The results of the abiotic experiments indicated that the main mechanism of hydrocarbon removal in the composting reactors was biological. The application of combined composting and chemical oxidation demonstrated a remarkable (about 88 %) overall removal. The study showed that in-vessel composting combined with chemical oxidation is a viable choice for the remediation of the sludge.

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Authors would like to acknowledge department of environmental health engineering of Tehran University of medical sciences for supporting this research in the frame of a PhD thesis.

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Correspondence to Kazem Naddafi.

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Koolivand, A., Naddafi, K., Nabizadeh, R. et al. Degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons from bottom sludge of crude oil storage tanks using in-vessel composting followed by oxidation with hydrogen peroxide and Fenton. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 15, 321–327 (2013).

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  • In-vessel composting
  • Crude oil storage tanks
  • Petroleum hydrocarbons
  • Fenton
  • Hydrogen peroxide