Sequential remediation processes for effective removal of oil from contaminated soils

Authors: Dave, D, A Ghaly
Description: The object of this study was to develop a technology for the remediation of soil contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons. The remediation method included three processes: (a) an effective soil washing process for the removal of the hydrocarbons from the contaminated soil, (b) an efficient water decontamination process using peat moss as an oil absorbent and (c) an effective bioremediation process for converting the oil in peat moss into carbon dioxide and water. The results showed that water is an effective solvent for the removal of oil from contaminated soil. It has also been determined that peat moss is an effective absorbent and could be used to remove oil from the contaminated water. Peat can absorb 12.6 times its weight liquid (water/oil). The bioremediation process was effective in degrading the oil into harmless carbon dioxide and water products. About 77.65 % of the THC were removed within 60 days of bioremediation. The mesophilic microbial population in the compost quickly acclimatized to the hydrocarbon as was evident from the immediate rise in the reactor temperature. The C:N ratio decreased from 30:1 to 12:1 indicating the degradation of organic C in the petroleum hydrocarbons and the peat. Urea was a very effective source of nitrogen in initiating and maintaining intense microbial respiration activity. A degradation model was developed and used to calculate the time required for a complete degradation. The model indicated that a total degradation of oil could be achieved within 68.5 days
Keywords: oil contaminated soil, peat moss, washing, filtration, absorption, bioremediation urea, compost, temperature, c:n ratio, moisture content
Technical field: technical_fields_app9
Session name: Waste management
Date: 2012
Identifier: CSBE12087
Coverage: Canada

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