GAIKER published an article on bioremediation of soils contaminated by hydrocarbons from a fuel spill

News // 2 July 2024

SYMBIOREM partner GAIKER published an article in the May issue of the Spanish magazine Industria Quimica resulting from its experiments in the context of the SYMBIOREM project. The topic of the article is the potential of bioremediation for the decontamination of soils polluted by hydrocarbons from a fuel spill from a storage tank. 

Soil contamination from fossil fuels is a major environmental issue, which poses significant risks to humans and animals. These compounds can remain in the environment over a long period of time and present risks for human and environmental health. There is no ideal technique to treat those contaminated soils because of different factors and different techniques available. 

Bioremediation is a cheaper solution compared to traditional techniques and it is much less harmful to the environment, as it seeks to protect the integrity and functionality of ecosystems. In its experiments, GAIKER used the bioremediation strategy of biostimulation, which consists of the addition of essential nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, with the aim of stimulating the growth and metabolic activity of the indigenous soil microbial population

GAIKER’S study aimed at demonstrating the efficiency of biostimulation for the bioremediation of a soil contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons and the use in the process of microorganisms with degrading capabilities of these pollutants. A biostimulation trial was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of different organic elements (compost, apple pressing residues from cider production, urea, and ammonium nitrate). Compost and cider production residues proved to be the most effective ones in reducing hydrocarbon contaminated content

The results of the study confirm that the strategy of biostimulation of native bacterial species in soils contaminated with hydrocarbons, using organic elements, is effective for the biodegradation of these contaminant compounds. It was also proved that contaminated soils can contain microorganisms with degradative capabilities, but those need to be adequately stimulated to metabolize the contaminant compounds. 

Read the full article (in Spanish)

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