Bioremediation is the use of microorganisms to clean the environment contaminated with various pollutants such as chemical wastes and petroleum -based products. The microbes use the pollutants as their carbon source and by doing so the contaminants are broken down. This paper examined the numbers of indigenous microorganisms in soil contaminated with diesel fuel and oil. Contaminant-degrading microbes were isolated and enumerated using phenanthrene in mineral media. The breakdown of phenanthrene was used as an indicator for contaminant degradation. The effects of aeration and the addition of nutrients on bioremediation processes was also studied. Soil samples used in the performed experiments were obtained from Triple M Land Farms, Inc. Aeration and fertilization were found to quicken microbial degradation. The same results, however, were observed for controls over longer periods of time. Phenanthrene-degrading microorganisms were identified to possible genus, but were not fully identified.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Dr. Larry P. Elliott
Fields, Matthew, "Bioremediation: A new Technology using Inhabitants of the Soil" (1993). Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 56.