Suitability of oil bioremediation in an Artic soil using surplus heating from an incineration facility
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A 168-day period field study, carried out in Sisimiut, Greenland, assessed the potential to enhance soil remediation with the surplus heating from an incineration facility. This approach searches a feasible ex situ remediation process that could be extended throughout the year with low costs. Individual and synergistic effects of biostimulation were also tested, in parallel. An interim evaluation at the end of the first 42 days showed that biostimulation and active heating, as separate treatments, enhanced petroleum hydrocarbon (PHC) removal compared to natural attenuation. The coupling of both technologies was even more effective, corroborating the benefits of both techniques in a remediation strategy. However, between day 42 and day 168, there was an opposite remediation trend with all treatments suggesting a stabilization except for natural attenuation, where PHC values continued to decrease. This enforces the “self-purification” capacity of the system, even at low temperatures. Coupling biostimulation with active heating was the best approach for PHC removal, namely for a short period of time (42 days). The proposed remediation scheme can be considered a reliable option for faster PHC removal with low maintenance and using “waste heating” from an incineration facility.
KeywordsArctic Bioremediation Biostimulation Oil contamination Surplus heat
The authors would like to thank Malene Grønvold for the laboratorial support and analysis as well as Sisimut incineration plant in Greenland. Nazaré Couto also thanks Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia for her Post-Doc fellowship (SFRH/BPD/81122/2011) and Caixa Geral de Depósitos for a mobility action in the scope of the New Generation of Polar Scientists Program.
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