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  • Writer's pictureEnroChem

How does Bio-remediation work for oil spills?

Without a doubt, pollution caused by oil spills not only has an immediate, detrimental effect on the environment but has long-lasting consequences too.


Traditionally, mechanical, chemical, and thermal methods (incineration, landfilling and dispersants etc.) have been used to clear oil or pollutant spills, and have remained somewhat unchanged for the last 20 years. Whilst effective in assisting in the containment of an oil spill, these laborious methods are often ineffective in their ability to properly remediate the spill in an affected environment and are often difficult to implement in inclement weather.


Enter bioremediation and bioaugmentation

The use of microbes to purify wastewater and other sources of contamination from hydrocarbons has a long history. However, it wasn’t until 1969 when a devasting spill affected California’s Santa Barbara area, that the targeted use of microbes to degrade oil is accredited. Here, thanks to George Robinson, marine microorganisms were used to consume the oil.


Bioremediation uses microbes or microorganisms to recycle materials, and remedy polluted water and contaminated soil. In a nutshell, it uses nature to fix nature.


There are hundreds of naturally occurring species (including fungi, algae, and bacteria) capable of degrading oil in water and/or soil. However, to speed up the process of bioremediation, companies often turn to the process of bioaugmentation, using additional environmentally friendly products such as EnroChem Soil Treat, to boost the natural or indigenous population of microbes. EnroChem’s Soil Treat has its own consortium of billions of hydrocarbon-digesting microbes, in various carriers as well as preblended nutrients*.

By using the correct “good or beneficial” bacteria, virtually any FOG’s (fats, oils, greases) or even hydrocarbon-based oil stains can be safely cleaned, bio-degraded and removed quicker and more cost effectively than traditional harmful chemicals.


*Highly contaminated soil and waste is often void of any nutrients and therefore makes bioremediation extremely difficult, for this reason EnroChem Soil Treat has added nutrients to help speed up the remediation process. This nutrient pack also promotes the growth of all-natural occurring microbes in the soil.

 

Case Study:

A leading petrochemical company presented their current internationally established benchmark bacterial product to a performance challenge against the indigenous bacteria in EnroChem Oil Treat. Oil Treat’s proprietary bacteria system showed a massive 90% improvement in overall Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (T.P.H.) degradation, while costing a fraction of the price.


An unexpected result showed our Soil Treat bacteria degrading waste at a staggering 20% faster rate with profound further performance, cost, and environmental advantages.


Sources: ACS Publications Nano-enhanced Bioremediation for Oil Spills: A Review


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