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Microbe assisted phytoremediation of oil sludge and role of amendments: a mesocosm study

Abstract

A mesocosm study was evaluated to elucidate the influence of amendments such as microbial consortium, plant (Vetiveria zizanioides), bulking agent (wheat husk) and nutrients on remediation of oil sludge over a period of 90 days. The experiment was conducted in a 15 m2 plot which was divided into eight units comprising of soil sludge mixture (1:1) at CSIR-NEERI premises. During the experiment, oil degradation was estimated gravimetrically and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were quantified on GC–MS. Additionally, dehydrogenase activity was also monitored. The treatment integrated with bulking agent, nutrients, consortium and plant resulted in 28-fold increased dehydrogenase activity and complete mineralization of higher PAHs. Furthermore, 72.8 % total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) degradation was observed in bulked treatment with plant, nutrients and consortium followed by 69.6 and 65.4 % in bioaugmented treatments with and without nutrients, respectively, as compared to control (33.4 %). A lysimeter study was also conducted simultaneously using Vetiver and consortium to monitor groundwater contamination by heavy metals in oil sludge which showed a marked decrease in the concentrations of metals such as lead and cadmium in leachates. This study validates a holistic approach for remediation of oil sludge contaminated soils/sites which is a burning issue since decades by the use of microbe assisted phytoremediation technology which not only solves the problem of oil contamination but also takes care of heavy metal contamination.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are thankful to Dr. S. R. Wate, Director, CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur, for his kind support and encouragement.

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Correspondence to S. Nanekar.

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Nanekar, S., Dhote, M., Kashyap, S. et al. Microbe assisted phytoremediation of oil sludge and role of amendments: a mesocosm study. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 12, 193–202 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13762-013-0400-3

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Keywords

  • Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH)
  • Amendments
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
  • Remediation
  • Oil sludge
  • Heavy metals