Soil bioremediation of an ex-petroleum storage site

The petroleum storage facility was dismantled and the site was decided to be used as a recreational area. The soil between the tanks was contaminated with many years of hydrocarbon deposits and covered an area of approximately 1,000 sqm. The hydrocarbons derived from diesel fuel and lubricating oils were predominantly in the range of C10 to C36.

The contamination was located in patches around the tank farm as noted in the attached diagram. Most of the hydrocarbons were contained in the top 200 mm and to a lesser extent down to 1 meter.

The average hydrocarbon level at 0 to 200 mm soil depth was 13,000 mg/kg. The average hydrocarbon level at 500 mm to 1 mt in soil depth was 1,280 mg/kg. In some places the level of hydrocarbon was up to 50,000 mg/kg. This soil gave a COD result of 213,000 mg/kg. Nitrogen and Phosphorus in the soil was very low hence nutrients were added in the ratio of 100 C ; 5 N; 1 P.

Our objective, to reduce the level of hydrocarbons in the soil to less than 1,200 mg/kg and satisfy the Gladstone Port Authority.

The Treatment

After a laboratory trial of biodegradation of hydrocarbons the following treatment was recommended. 

  • Deep plough or ripping to the appropriate depth to open the soil.
  • Adjust the pH of the soil between 7 to 8 using lime.
  • Spread the mixture of Mirolife DCB001 and DCB002 at a rate of 1Kg for 1000Kg soil.
  • Spray with water.
  • Deep ploughing again.
  • Maintenance Treatment (12 weeks).
  • Spreading 5Kg mixture of DCT008 and DCT003 every week.
  • Ploughing and spraying with water on a regular base.
  • Adding nutrients.

Result and Conclusions

of the concentration in 8 weeks
Biodegradation at 90%

Daily spraying with water in the morning and evening to fill in the quantity of evaporated water and to maintain the humidity level.

In one week
From 9500 ppm to 900 ppm of hydrocarbons

The remedial work on the hydrocarbon contaminated soil completed the requirements of the local autority.

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