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Pilot-scale bioremediation of a petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated clayey soil from a sub-Arctic site

Pilot-scale bioremediation of a petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated clayey soil from a sub-Arctic site

Journal of Hazardous Materials 280: 595-602

Bioremediation is a potentially cost-effective solution for petroleum contamination in cold region sites. This study investigates the extent of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons (C16-C34) in a pilot-scale biopile experiment conducted at 15°C for periods up to 385 days, with a clayey soil, from a crude oil-impacted site in northern Canada. Although several studies on bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soils from cold region sites have been reported for coarse-textured, sandy soils, there are limited studies of bioremediation of petroleum contamination in fine-textured, clayey soils. Our results indicate that aeration and moisture addition was sufficient for achieving 47% biodegradation and an endpoint of 530 mg/kg for non-volatile (C16-C34) petroleum hydrocarbons. Nutrient amendment with 95 mg-N/kg showed no significant effect on biodegradation compared to a control system without nutrient but similar moisture content. In contrast, in a biopile amended with 1340 mg-N/kg, no statistically significant biodegradation of non-volatile fraction was detected. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses of alkB and 16S rRNA genes revealed that inhibition of hydrocarbon biodegradation was associated with a lack of change in microbial community composition. Overall, our data suggests that biopiles are feasible for attaining the bioremediation endpoint in clayey soils. Despite the significantly lower biodegradation rate of 0.009 day(-1) in biopile tank compared to 0.11 day(-1) in slurry bioreactors for C16-C34 hydrocarbons, the biodegradation extents for this fraction were comparable in these two systems.

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Accession: 055009166

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25218258

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2014.08.016

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