Managed Bioremediation of Soil Contaminated with Crude Oil
Analysis of samples taken from three experimental soil lysimeters demonstrated marked long-term effects of managed bioremediation on soil chemistry and on bacterial and fungal communities 3 yr after the application of crude oil or crude oil and fertilizer The lysimeters were originally used to evaluate the short-term effectiveness of managed (application of fertilizer and water, one lysimeter) vs unmanaged bioremediation (one lysimeter) of Michigan Silurian crude oil compared to one uncontaminated control lysimeter. Three years following the original experiment, five 2-ft-long soil cores were extracted from each lysimeter, each divided into three sections, and the like sections mixed together to form composited soil samples. All subsequent chemical and microbiological analyses were performed on these nine composited samples.
Substantial variation was found among the lysimeters for certain soil chemical characteristics (% moisture, pH, total Kjeldahl nitrogen [TKN], ammonia nitrogen [NH4-N], phosphate phosphorous [PO4-P], and sulfate [SO4 -2]). The managed lysimeter had 10% the level of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH-IR) found in the unmanaged lysimeter. Assessment of the microbial community was performed for heterotropic bacteria, fungi, and aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria (toluene, naphthalene, and phenanthrene) by dilution onto solid media. There was little difference in the number of heterotrophic bacteria, in contrast to counts of fungi, which were markedly higher in the contaminated lysimeters. Hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria were elevated in both oil-contaminated lysimeters. In terms of particular hydrocarbons as substrates, phenanthrene degraders were greater in number than naphthalene degraders, which outnumbered toluene degraders. Levels of sulfate-reducing bacteria seem to have been stimulated by hydrocarbon degradation.
Index EntriesCrude Oil bioremediation TPH sulfate-reducing bacteria nematodes soil fungi hydrocarbon
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