Enhanced crude oil biodegradation in soil via biostimulation.

Research paper by Esmaeil E Al-Saleh, Ali A Hassan

Indexed on: 09 Feb '16Published on: 09 Feb '16Published in: International journal of phytoremediation


Research into feasible methods for the enhancement of bioremediation in soil contaminated by crude oil is vital in oil exporting countries such as Kuwait, where crude oil is a major pollutant and the environment is hostile to biodegradation. This study investigated the possibility of enhancing crude oil bioremediation by supplementing soil with cost-effective organic materials derived from two widespread locally grown trees, Conocarpus and Tamarix. The amendments of soils increased the counts of soil microbiota by up to 98% and enhanced their activity by up to 95.5%. The increase in the biodegradation of crude oil (75%) and high levels of alkB expression substantiated the efficiency of the proposed amendment technology for the bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminated sites. The identification of crude-oil-degrading bacteria revealed the dominance of the genus Microbacterium (39.6%), Sphingopyxis soli (19.3%) and Bordetella petrii (19.6%) in unamended, Conocarpus-amended and Tamarix-amended contaminated soils, respectively. Although, soil amendments favoured the growth of Gram-negative bacteria and reduced bacterial diversity, the structures of bacterial communities were not significantly altered.