Bioremediation of Petroleum and Radiological Contaminated Soils at the Savannah River Site: Laboratory to Field Scale Applications

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In the process of Savannah River Site (SRS) operations limited amounts of waste are generated containing petroleum, and radiological contaminated soils. Currently, this combination of radiological and petroleum contaminated waste does not have an immediate disposal route and is being stored in low activity vaults. SRS developed and implemented a successful plan for clean up of the petroleum portion of the soils in situ using simple, inexpensive, bioreactor technology. Treatment in a bioreactor removes the petroleum contamination from the soil without spreading radiological contamination to the environment. This bioreactor uses the bioventing process and bioaugmentation or the addition of the ... continued below

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BRIGMON, ROBINL. June 7, 2004.

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In the process of Savannah River Site (SRS) operations limited amounts of waste are generated containing petroleum, and radiological contaminated soils. Currently, this combination of radiological and petroleum contaminated waste does not have an immediate disposal route and is being stored in low activity vaults. SRS developed and implemented a successful plan for clean up of the petroleum portion of the soils in situ using simple, inexpensive, bioreactor technology. Treatment in a bioreactor removes the petroleum contamination from the soil without spreading radiological contamination to the environment. This bioreactor uses the bioventing process and bioaugmentation or the addition of the select hydrocarbon degrading bacteria. Oxygen is usually the initial rate-limiting factor in the biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons. Using the bioventing process allowed control of the supply of nutrients and moisture based on petroleum contamination concentrations and soil type. The results of this work have proven to be a safe and cost-effective means of cleaning up low level radiological and petroleum-contaminated soil. Many of the other elements of the bioreactor design were developed or enhanced during the demonstration of a ''biopile'' to treat the soils beneath a Polish oil refinery's waste disposal lagoons. Aerobic microorganisms were isolated from the aged refinery's acidic sludge contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Twelve hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria were isolated from the sludge. The predominant PAH degraders were tentatively identified as Achromobacter, Pseudomonas Burkholderia, and Sphingomonas spp. Several Ralstonia spp were also isolated that produce biosurfactants. Biosurfactants can enhance bioremediation by increasing the bioavailability of hydrophobic contaminants including hydrocarbons. The results indicated that the diversity of acid-tolerant PAH-degrading microorganisms in acidic oil wastes may be much greater than previously demonstrated and they have numerous applications to environmental restoration. Twelve of the isolates were subsequently added to the bioreactor to enhance bioremediation. In this study we showed that a bioreactor could be bioaugmented with select bacteria to enhance bioremediation of petroleum-contaminated soils under radiological conditions.

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  • American Chemical Society, Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA (US), 08/22/2004--08/26/2004

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  • Report No.: WSRC-MS-2004-00363
  • Grant Number: AC09-96SR18500
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 825210
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc785702

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  • June 7, 2004

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • May 4, 2016, 9:31 p.m.

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BRIGMON, ROBINL. Bioremediation of Petroleum and Radiological Contaminated Soils at the Savannah River Site: Laboratory to Field Scale Applications, article, June 7, 2004; South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc785702/: accessed August 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.