Biostimulation and bioaugmentation for on-site treatment of weathered diesel fuel in Arctic soil

E J M Thomassin-Lacroix, M Eriksson, K J Reimer, W W Mohn
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2002, 59 (4): 551-6
Bioremediation of weathered diesel fuel in Arctic soil at low temperature was studied both on-site in small-scale biopiles and in laboratory microcosms. The field study site was on Ellesmere Island (82 degrees 30'N, 62 degrees 20'W). Biostimulation was by fertilization with phosphorous and nitrogen. Bioaugmentation was with an enrichment culture originating from the field site. In biopiles, total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) were reduced from 2.9 to 0.5 mg/g of dry soil over a period of 65 days. In microcosms at 7 degrees C, TPH were reduced from 2.4 to 0.5 mg/g of dry soil over a period of 90 days. Inoculation had no effect on hydrocarbon removal in biopiles or in microcosms. Maximum TPH removal rates in the biopiles were approximately 90 micro g of TPH g(-1) of soil day(-1), occurring during the first 14 days when ambient temperature ranged from 0 to 10 degrees C. The fate of three phylotypes present in the inoculum was monitored using most-probable-number PCR, targeting 16S rRNA genes. Populations of all three phylotypes increased more than 100-fold during incubation of both uninoculated and inoculated biopiles. The inoculum increased the initial populations of the phylotypes but did not significantly affect their final populations. Thus, biostimulation on site enriched populations that were also selected in laboratory enrichment cultures.

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