01 July 2010

Bioremediation of Hydrocarbon Polluted Soil


There are several approaches being promoted for bioremediation of the water, sand, and soil impacted by the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Some companies are promoting bacterial remediation, some are promoting enzymatic remediation, and some are promoting fungal remediation.

The video above looks at an experiment conducted on six mounds of diesel-contaminated soil, using 6 different approaches to bioremediation.

According to the narrator, the fungal approach was the only type of remediation that restored the badly contaminated soil fully to a thriving micro ecosystem. Who knew that oyster mushrooms love diesel and other hydrocarbons?

Of course you can't grow oyster mushrooms in seawater, where bacterial approaches make more sense. In fact, bacteria that naturally break down oil are contained within the oil itself, and in the seawater of the Gulf of Mexico and other naturally oil-rich waters. Nature has dealt with hydrocarbon contamination for billions of years, and has learned how to recover from an oil spill.

We just need to learn the best way of giving nature a hand.

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