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Microbes Fighting Oil Contamination
July 3, 2007 22:45

Oil production in progress

Russian scientists are currently developing a new agent for remediation of soils, polluted with oil and petroleum refinery products. The agent is based upon a complex of some special microorganisms – oil destructing microbes – with biological substrates (which serve as a carrier), using various biological fertilizers for this purpose. Authors of innovation claim that united effect of microorganisms and biological substrates is able to do more than just simple soil purification – these agents can restore soil’s fertility.

Studies within the project are dedicated to development of new generation of bioorganic oil destructing agents, which can be used for rehabilitation and revegetation of oil polluted soils. The technique has two key aspects – first of which is microflora, which “eats” oil (oil serves as energy source for microbial metabolism), decomposing it to substances, less hazardous to our environment. Everyone knows (or at least has heard about it) that among zillions of the smallest living organisms there always exist some that can get used to any conditions and survive, where all more complex life forms would die. Humans have found out this fact long ago, and how are using it for fighting various toxic agents, of course keeping in mind oil destructing microbes, which can be isolated from their natural habitat – soil, contaminated with oil. There are few of them in natural environments, since soil is rarely polluted with oil, thus creating favourable living conditions for these little creatures is very important for fast and full recovery of soils.


However, clean soil doesn’t mean fertile soil, that is why our remedy needs its second component – organic substrate. This component allows increasing soil’s biological activity, providing positive balance for humus and activating soil’s microflora, thus helping oil destructors to survive the stress of living in contaminated environment.

Where such useful substrate is found then? It can be found in places with many organic matter. Authors suggest using microbes, grown on drains from hog-raising farms and on fermented poultry manure. These wastes are not easy to survive in, but special microorganisms can transform them into something digestible and useful for plants. Scientists have already developed effective biological fertilizers, based on said complexes. Said bio- fertilizers together with products of composting various organic wastes with worms will be used as substrates for oil destructing microbes.


New generation of biologically active agents will be used both on large and small territories, polluted with oil products, not to forget about parking places and petrol-filling stations. Moreover, scientists are currently working on “thermal regime” of their substances for them to work in cold places, which is very important, because it makes the period of possible soil remediation and increasing its biological activity longer.

    Russian Science News
Kizilova Anna

Tags: Russian oil     

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