Prediction of Remediation Rates of Microbes in Polluted Crude Oil Soil Samples

B. C. Okoro, O. A. Nwadike, J. C. Agunwamba


The rate of removal of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon Content (TPHC) of a crude oil polluted land was investigated using field experimental data generated from the Research Farm soil at the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. The soil was artificially polluted in the laboratory with crude oil - bonny light - with specific gravity of 0.8323. Petroleum contaminant present in the soil was 230 mg per kilogram of soil. The treatment variables used include: inorganic fertilizer (NPK 20:10:10), poultry manure, cow dung and a mixture of the three in equal proportion. A natural treatment was allowed to occur as the control experiment. fungi as well as bacteria played an important role in the degradation of petroleum hydrocarbon. The identified crude oil degrading Fungi are Penicillium notatum, Mucor spp, Rhizopus stolonifer and Penicillum caseicolum with P. notatum and P. caseicolum (penicillum spp) as the strongest fungi degraders. The identified degrading Bacteria are Pseudomonas putida and Bacillus subtilis. These can therefore be isolated and cultured and then employed on remediation sites either as indigenous or foreign degrading microbes in the engineering of bioremediation of crude oil polluted soil using the best engineering techniques. The treatment with mixture of treatment variables proved to be a better option from the results obtained with 82.38 mg/kg after 9 weeks of remediation followed by fertilizer, 83.13 mg/kg and 86.75 mg/kg for poultry manure. Cow dung had 105.5 mg/kg and the control had least with 204.50 mg/kg.

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