JOURNAL ARTICLE

Bioremediation of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes-contaminated soil: a biopile pilot experiment

M Genovese, R Denaro, S Cappello, G Di Marco, G La Spada, L Giuliano, L Genovese, M M Yakimov
Journal of Applied Microbiology 2008, 105 (5): 1694-702
19149767

AIMS: In this study, we evaluated the removal efficiency of fuel hydrocarbons from a jet fuel contaminated area using bioaugmentation treatment in biopile.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The hydrocarbon analysis of the sample revealed total hydrocarbons mainly constituted by benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes (BTEX) and heavy aliphatic hydrocarbons. Enrichments of soil sample were performed with BTEX, pristane and fuel JP-5, respectively, selected hydrocarbon-degrading strains, namely Acinetobacter sp., Pseudomonas sp. and Rhodococcus sp. Three hundred litres of culture containing 10(8) cell ml(-1) of each strain and nutrients sprayed on the biopile allowed a removal of 90% of total hydrocarbons in 15 days. Bioremediation process was monitored by observation of the respiration rate and the bacterial abundance and GC-MS analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: The efficiency of the treatment in the biopile was considerable. The assessment of microbial activity during the experiment is necessary for interventions targeted to improve environmental parameters such as humidity, temperature, pH and nutrients for optimization of the bioremediation process.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: A better knowledge of microbial successions at oil-polluted sites is essential for environmental bioremediation. Data obtained in biopile study improve our understanding of processes occurring during oil pollution.

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