Enhanced Microbial and Total petroleum hydrocarbon degradation in Crude-Oil Polluted Soils using Agro-Wastes

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

2 Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Educational Technology Unit, University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria

3 Department of Science Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

4 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria


Bioremediation has become a trending and developing field in environmental restoration through the use of micro-organisms to utilize and reduced the concentration and toxicity of various chemical pollutants. This study is on bioremediation of hydrocarbon-polluted soils using some agricultural wastes. Ninety (90) plastic buckets were filled with 4kg each of the composite soil. The soil contained in the plastic buckets was spiked with 250ml crude oil, except in the unpolluted plastic buckets (0%) crude oil. The agro-wastes (plantain stem sap, bush mango peels, and fruited pumpkin husk powder) in single and combined forms were applied after 14 days soil pollution. The amendments were applied as follows: Pristine control (0% agro-wastes), crude-oil control (0% agro-wastes), 150g, 250g, and 350g of the agro-wastes. Soil samples were collected at 90 days for soil microbial counts and the total hydrocarbon content of the soil. Data collected were subjected to 2-way ANOVA. The result showed that the microbial population in the crude-oil polluted soil amended with different agricultural wastes significantly increased (p<0.05) the total heterotrophic and crude oil utilizing bacterial and fungal counts in the soils and the increase in microbial population result in a significant reduction in total hydrocarbon content (THC) of the soils. The reduction in the THC of the soil was treatment dependent. It is, therefore concluded that based on the efficiency of these agro-wastes in enhancing microbial degradation, further studies should be carried out on the enzyme activities and production of bio-surfactant from the wastes to shorten the degradation time. 


Main Subjects

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