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The use of poultry litter as co-substrate and source of inorganic nutrients and microorganisms for the ex situ biodegradation of petroleum compounds

Williams, C.M., Grimes, J.L., Mikkelsen, R.L.
Poultry science 1999 v.78 no.7 pp. 956-964
land restoration, poultry manure, decontamination, soil, microorganisms, biodegradation, culture media, nitrogen, phosphorus, pH, ammonium nitrogen, nitrates, plate count, orthophosphates, diesel fuel
The purpose of this investigation was to determine the feasibility of utilizing poultry litter as a source of microorganisms, C co-substrate, N, and P to enhance the biodegradation of petroleum compounds in contaminated soil. An initial laboratory-scale study utilized soil contaminated with approximately 3,000 mg/kg (ppm) total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHC) as diesel fuel. Biotreatment units, each containing 10 L of contaminated soil, were supplemented (0, 1, 10, and 20%, total weight basis) with broiler litter containing 3.65% N and 1.89% P. Petroleum-degrading microorganisms previously enriched from broiler and turkey litter were also inoculated into the litter-treated units. A significant first order rate of TPHC biodegradation was measured for all treatment units containing broiler litter (P < 0.05). Based on these results, a subsequent study was conducted at the site of a commercial facility permitted to treat soil (ex situ) contaminated with hazardous compounds. Soil treatment plots, each containing approximately 1 ton of soil contaminated with approximately 1,200 to 1,600 mg/kg diesel fuel were established. Each plot was replicated four times and the experiment was conducted for 35 d. Treatments were as follows: control, soil only; soil + commercial blend of bioremediation nutrients; soil + commercial fertilizer; soil + poultry litter (1% by volume); soil + poultry litter (10% by volume); soil + pelleted poultry litter (10% by volume). The results showed that the remediation of soil contaminated with petroleum compounds is significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced when supplemented with poultry litter (pelleted or nonpelleted) in concentrations of 10% soil volume. These results demonstrate the potential for a specialized market for the use of poultry litter.