Remediation of petroleum contaminated soils by joint action of Pharbitis nil L. and its microbial community

Zhineng Zhang, Qixing Zhou, Shengwei Peng, Zhang Cai
Science of the Total Environment 2010 October 15, 408 (22): 5600-5
The plot-culture experiments were conducted for examining the feasibility of Pharbitis nil L. and its microbial community to remedy petroleum contaminated soils. The petroleum contaminated soil, containing 10% (w/w) of the total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs), was collected from the Shengli Oil Field, Dongying City, Shandong Province, China. The collected soil was applied and diluted to a series of petroleum contaminated soils (0.5%, 1.0%, 2.0% and 4.0%). Root length, microbial populations and numbers in the rhizosphere were also measured in this work. The results showed that there was significantly (p<0.05) greater degradation rate of TPHs in vegetated treatments, up to 27.63-67.42%, compared with the unvegetated controls (only 10.20-35.61%), after a 127-day incubation. Although various fractions of TPHs had an insignificant concentration difference due to the presence of the remediation plants, there was a much higher removal of saturated hydrocarbon compared with other components. The biomass of P. nil L. did not decrease significantly when the concentration of petroleum hydrocarbons in soil was ≤2.0%. The trends of microbial populations and numbers in the rhizosphere were similar to the biomass changes, with the exception that fungi at 0.5% petroleum contaminated soil had the largest microbial populations and numbers.

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