Biostimulation Proves Microbes help in Oil Spill Cleanup

“Biostimulation proved to be the most efficient method in the comparison of in situ soil remediation treatments after a simulated oil spill accident”

Abstract –

The use of in situ techniques in soil remediation is still rare in Finland and most other European countries due to the uncertainty of the effectiveness of the techniques especially in cold regions and also due to their potential side effects on the environment. In this study, we compared the biostimulation, chemical oxidation, and natural attenuation treatments in natural conditions and pilot scale during a 16-month experiment. A real fuel spill accident was used as a model for experiment setup and soil contamination. We found that biostimulation significantly decreased the contaminant leachate into the water, including also the non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL). The total NAPL leachate was 19 % lower in the biostimulation treatment that in the untreated soil and 34 % lower in the biostimulation than oxidation treatment. Soil bacterial growth and community changes were first observed due to the increased carbon content via oil amendment and later due to the enhanced nutrient content via biostimulation. Overall, the most effective treatment for fresh contaminated soil was biostimulation, which enhanced the biodegradation of easily available oil in the mobile phase and consequently reduced contaminant leakage through the soil. The chemical oxidation did not enhance soil cleanup and resulted in the mobilization of contaminants. Our results suggest that biostimulation can decrease or even prevent oil migration in recently contaminated areas and can thus be considered as a potentially safe in situ treatment also in groundwater areas.

What are microbes – See article from Polysorb

and Best Practise Hub Award

Providing cleanup solutions for contaminated surfaces