Bioremediation is a process used to clean up soils
contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons and other hazardous
compounds. In the bioremediation process, indigenous
microbes (biomass) and microbial inoculants degrade
contaminants and detoxify the soil. The byproducts resulting
from this process are carbon dioxide and water. In short,
bioremediation takes contaminated soil and converts the
contaminants into non hazardous substances.
and exsitu bioremediation can be
carried out at the contaminated site i.e. old gas stations,
tank farms, abandoned referineries, pump stations, etc. Soil
is placed in containment cells in rows 12 to 18 inches deep.
Microbial inoculants, nutrients, biostimulants, water, etc.
are applied with the aid of sprinkler apparatus. Devices,
located under the soil, recover leached contaminants and
provide aeration for the microbes. Oxygen transfer is
optimized by tilling the soil at 7 to 10 day intervals
depending on environmental conditions, microbial activity,
management process, etc.
Bioremediation is an economical and safe method for cleaning
up oil spills and bioremediating soils contaminated with
petroleum hydrocarbons and dangerous organic compounds. The
bioremediation process utilizes beneficial microbes,
surfactants, micronutrients and bio-stimulants to decompose
contaminants transforming them into harmless byproducts,
i.e. water and carbon dioxide.
bioremediation process can be performed insitu or exsitu.
The insitu process is adopted where excavation is
impractical and involves either bio-stimulation or
Biostimulation involves aeration and the application of
selected micronutrients and bio-stimulants. Bio-stimulation
alone is only effective when indigenous microbial
populations, present in the substrate, are high enough to
degrade the contaminants and when these microbes can readily
adapt to foreign contaminants.
Bioaugmentation involves the application of beneficial
microbes, that have an affinity towards a specific
contaminant. Typically, these microbes are suspended by a
stabilizing agent and lie dormant in a spore until activated
in solution and applied together with micronutrients and bio
effectively degrade the following contaminants:
Hydrocarbons with carbon chains ranging from C-5 to C-40
Benzene, Xylene, Toluene etc.
PCB and other chlorinated compounds
Fossil fuels - Gasoline, Diesel, Aviation gas
Condensate - leakage from pipelines
DATA needed to develop a bioremediation protocol:
- Age of
affected by spill (A map of the area including adjacent
infrastructure if available)
Proximity to ground water
Proximity to water wells
(total petroleum hydrocarbons)
Viscosity and volatility of contaminants (If available)
For excavated diesel contaminated soil, a composite sample
should be collected for every 200 cubic yards of material
excavated. For diesel contaminated soil still in place,
samples should be collected every 20 linear feet, or in
accordance with an approved grid.
EC-2100P for Oil Spill Cleanup