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Bioremediation: An Environmental Friendly Solution for Oil Contaminated Soils | OMICS International
ISSN: 2155-6199
Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation

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Bioremediation: An Environmental Friendly Solution for Oil Contaminated Soils

Mohsen Soleimani*
Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, 84156-83111, Iran
Corresponding Author : Mohsen Soleimani
Department of Environmental Science
Faculty of Natural Resources
Isfahan University of Technology
Isfahan, 84156-83111, Iran
E-mail: [email protected]
Received April 05, 2012; Accepted April 07, 2012; Published April 09, 2012
Citation: Soleimani M (2012) Bioremediation: An Environmental Friendly Solution for Oil Contaminated Soils. J Bioremed Biodegrad 3:e109. doi: 10.4172/2155-6199.1000e109
Copyright: © 2012 Soleimani M. This is an open-a ccess article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Oil pollution as an environmental challenge has been wide spread during production, storage and transport activities. Although, there are several chemical and physical methods for remediation of oil contaminated soil and water resources, biological methods are promising and cost effective tools for large scale remediation. Bioremediation as an environmental friendly method uses capability of microorganisms and/or plants (i.e. phytoremediation) to degrade, remove, stabilize and reduce environmental pollutants depending on selected strategy and type of pollutants. In the case of organic pollutants such as petroleum hydrocarbons, microorganisms can mostly use them as a source of carbon, while plants can indirectly enhance microbial activity in the rhizosphere zone through the secretion of various compounds (e.g. carbohydrates, organic acids, enzymes). Additionally, plants improve physical properties of the rhizosphere which affect activity of oil-degrading microorganisms [1].
Although bioremediation/phytoremediation has a lot of benefits, it has also some disadvantages. Cleaning soils using biological methods may take several years. The time depends on type and amounts of petroleum hydrocarbons present, size and depth of polluted area and type and conditions of contaminated soil. In this regard, lowpermeability soils with very high contaminant concentrations which may be toxic to microorganisms and plants are very difficult to treat and reclaim. Usually, bioremediation of very light and heavy fractions of petroleum hydrocarbons is difficult, former due to high toxicity and latter because of low bioavailability and recalcitrant properties. Recently, several researches have been carried out to enhance bioremediation efficiency of oil contaminated soils. These approaches are including using transgenic microorganisms/plants, selection of microorganisms with the ability of biosurfactant production, combination methods considering plant-microorganisms symbiosis (e.g. mycorrhiza, plant-endophytic bacteria/fungi interactions). Meanwhile, increasing the ability of microorganisms to tolerate and degrade petroleum hydrocarbons can boost bioremediation efficiency of oil-polluted sites [2].
However, Due to complex nature of oil-polluted soils, it may necessary to apply several remediation techniques including both physicochemical and biological methods to reduce the concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons to acceptable levels.
 
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