Main content area

A combined approach of physicochemical and biological methods for the characterization of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil

Masakorala, Kanaji, Yao, Jun, Chandankere, Radhika, Liu, Haijun, Liu, Wenjuan, Cai, Minmin, Choi, Martin M. F.
Environmental science and pollution research international 2014 v.21 no.1 pp. 454-463
bioremediation, correlation, microbiological quality, nitrogen, oil fields, petroleum, pollutants, polluted soils, soil properties, China
Main physicochemical and microbiological parameters of collected petroleum-contaminated soils with different degrees of contamination from DaGang oil field (southeast of Tianjin, northeast China) were comparatively analyzed in order to assess the influence of petroleum contaminants on the physicochemical and microbiological properties of soil. An integration of microcalorimetric technique with urease enzyme analysis was used with the aim to assess a general status of soil metabolism and the potential availability of nitrogen nutrient in soils stressed by petroleum-derived contaminants. The total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) content of contaminated soils varied from 752.3 to 29,114 mg kg⁻¹. Although the studied physicochemical and biological parameters showed variations dependent on TPH content, the correlation matrix showed also highly significant correlation coefficients among parameters, suggesting their utility in describing a complex matrix such as soil even in the presence of a high level of contaminants. The microcalorimetric measures gave evidence of microbial adaptation under highest TPH concentration; this would help in assessing the potential of a polluted soil to promote self-degradation of oil-derived hydrocarbon under natural or assisted remediation. The results highlighted the importance of the application of combined approach in the study of those parameters driving the soil amelioration and bioremediation.