Application of nitrogen fixing bacteria and poultry droppings for enhanced bioremediation of crude oil polluted-soil
The exploration, production and refining of crude oil has led to severe environmental degradation in the oil producing communities of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Enhanced bioremediation of tropical rainforest soil artificially polluted with crude oil, bioaugmented with nitrogen fixing bacteria (NFB) and biostimulated with poultry droppings was carried out ex situ. Soil sample was collected at 15cm depth from tropical rainforest soil of the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The NFB was isolated from roots of leguminous plant Arachis hypogea, identified as Nitrobacter species. Bioaugmentation by application of NFB served as option A, option B (biostimulation by application of poultry droppings), option C (No amendment) served as the control. Bioremediation was monitored for 28 days for interval of 14 days, and determined using the percentage ratio of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) losses for each period to TPH at initial day (day zero). Results of total culturable heterotrophic bacterial (TCHB) counts showed that highest range in option B (1.9×104
- 2.4×109Cfu/g) than in option A (7.8×106 -2.29×107Cfu/g) and C (6.75×106 -2.6×107Cfu/g) respectively. Similarly, hydrocarbon utilizing bacterial (HUB) counts had higher range in option B (1.20×105 - 1.9×107Cfu/g) than in option A (8.30×104 - 2.30×105Cfu/g) and option C control (4.3×104 −1.69×105 Cfu/g) respectively. Changes in physicochemical parameters during the study showed reductions in nitrate, phosphate and TPH in all the options expect pH which showed slight increase in option C (6.20-6.24). Characterization and identification for bacteria revealed the following HUB genera Pseudomonas, Citrobacter, Bacillus, Corynebacterium, Micrococcus, Klebsiella, Staphylocuccus and Nitrobacter). The percentage losses in TPH from gas chromatography (GC) results showed the following; option A (44.24%) option B (61.08%) and option C - control (27.28%) respectively. The results from this study showed that option B, the application of poultry droppings as biostimulant was more efficient than the application of NFB in enhanced bioremediation of crude oil polluted soil, hence the use of poultry droppings which is available as organic waste, eco-friendly and cost-effective is recommended as
biostimulant for enhanced bioremediation in environmental cleanup of crude oil impacted-sites of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.