Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil

EPA Grant Number: R827015C007
Subproject: this is subproject number 007 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R827015
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: IPEC University of Tulsa (TU)
Center Director: Sublette, Kerry L.
Title: Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil
Investigators: Thoma, Greg , Beyrouty, Craig , Wolf, Duane
Institution: University of Arkansas - Fayetteville
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: September 1, 1999 through August 31, 2000 (Extended to June 30, 2001)
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Integrated Petroleum Environmental Consortium (IPEC) (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Targeted Research

Objective:

Numerous techniques exist for remediating hydrocarbon contaminated soils. Most of these are expensive and labor intensive, often requiring significant disturbance of the soil to achieve clean up. Thousands of oil drilling rigs remain in operation to delay remediation because current technology is cost prohibitive. Phytoremediation is a process that uses actively growing plant roots to stimulate a diverse population of soil microorganisms, some of which have the capability to metabolize hydrocarbon contaminants. This process is relatively non-invasive, does not require extensive capital investment, and can enhance soil properties. Using plants and the associated rhizosphere (soil adjacent to roots) microorganisms to enhance biodegradation of petroleum contaminants may provide a low-cost option well suited to many sites. The goal of phytoremediation is to increase the remediation rate and to lower the contaminant concentration to an acceptable level.

As environmental control costs spiral and penalties for errors of judgment become more severe, environmental quality management increasingly needs analytical tools founded in an understanding of the processes affecting that quality. The extreme complexity of soil-plant-microbe system makes it apparent that the use of simulation models to help summarize and interpret experimental results, and provide a means of transferring experimental results to unstudied situations, is an important aspect of the growing field of phytoremediation. Thus the proposed research is intended to assess the potential of phytoremediation for clean up of petroleum contaminated soil through carefully designed laboratory, field, and mathematical modeling efforts. The research consists of two experimental components that will provide validation data for the modeling study. First, we will survey and collect plant species currently growing on contaminated sites and assess the plants and rhizosphere microorganisms for their ability to enhance biodegradation of petroleum contaminants in laboratory and greenhouse studies. Using information from the on-site survey and data from the other studies, we will conduct field studies to evaluate the appropriate plants and management systems to enhance phytoremediation of petroleum-contaminated sites.

When completed, the research will provide guidance in the management of phytoremediation projects nationwide.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 3 publications for this subprojectView all 120 publications for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Waste, Water, Contaminated Sediments, Remediation, Chemistry, Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, Hazardous Waste, Bioremediation, Molecular Biology/Genetics, Biology, Engineering, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, hazardous waste treatment, petroleum, waste treatment, degradation, microbial degradation, rhizospheric, contaminated sites, petroleum contaminants, biodegradation, cleanup, decontamination of soil, microbes, soils, contaminated soil, microflora, petrochemical waste, contaminants in soil, soil, bioremediation of soils, hydrocarbons, models, phytoremediation, soil microbes

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000 Progress Report
  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R827015    IPEC University of Tulsa (TU)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R827015C001 Evaluation of Road Base Material Derived from Tank Bottom Sludges
    R827015C002 Passive Sampling Devices (PSDs) for Bioavailability Screening of Soils Containing Petrochemicals
    R827015C003 Demonstration of a Subsurface Drainage System for the Remediation of Brine-Impacted Soil
    R827015C004 Anaerobic Intrinsic Bioremediation of Whole Gasoline
    R827015C005 Microflora Involved in Phytoremediation of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons
    R827015C006 Microbial Treatment of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)
    R827015C007 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil
    R827015C008 The Use of Nitrate for the Control of Sulfide Formation in Oklahoma Oil Fields
    R827015C009 Surfactant-Enhanced Treatment of Oil-Contaminated Soils and Oil-Based Drill Cuttings
    R827015C010 Novel Materials for Facile Separation of Petroleum Products from Aqueous Mixtures Via Magnetic Filtration
    R827015C011 Development of Relevant Ecological Screening Criteria (RESC) for Petroleum Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Exploration and Production Sites
    R827015C012 Humate-Induced Remediation of Petroleum Contaminated Surface Soils
    R827015C013 New Process for Plugging Abandoned Wells
    R827015C014 Enhancement of Microbial Sulfate Reduction for the Remediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Aquifers - A Laboratory and Field Scale Demonstration
    R827015C015 Locating Oil-Water Interfaces in Process Vessels
    R827015C016 Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay
    R827015C017 Continuation of an Investigation into the Anaerobic Intrinsic Bioremediation of Whole Gasoline
    R827015C018 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil
    R827015C019 Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Salt-Impacted Soil by Native Halophiles or Halotolerants and Strategies for Enhanced Degradation
    R827015C020 Anaerobic Intrinsic Bioremediation of MTBE
    R827015C021 Evaluation of Commercial, Microbial-Based Products to Treat Paraffin Deposition in Tank Bottoms and Oil Production Equipment
    R827015C022 A Continuation: Humate-Induced Remediation of Petroleum Contaminated Surface Soils
    R827015C023 Data for Design of Vapor Recovery Units for Crude Oil Stock Tank Emissions
    R827015C024 Development of an Environmentally Friendly and Economical Process for Plugging Abandoned Wells
    R827015C025 A Continuation of Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay
    R827015C026 Identifying the Signature of the Natural Attenuation of MTBE in Goundwater Using Molecular Methods and "Bug Traps"
    R827015C027 Identifying the Signature of Natural Attenuation in the Microbial Ecology of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Groundwater Using Molecular Methods and "Bug Traps"
    R827015C028 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil: Project Continuation
    R827015C030 Effective Stormwater and Sediment Control During Pipeline Construction Using a New Filter Fence Concept
    R827015C031 Evaluation of Sub-micellar Synthetic Surfactants versus Biosurfactants for Enhanced LNAPL Recovery
    R827015C032 Utilization of the Carbon and Hydrogen Isotopic Composition of Individual Compounds in Refined Hydrocarbon Products To Monitor Their Fate in the Environment
    R830633 Integrated Petroleum Environmental Consortium (IPEC)
    R830633C001 Development of an Environmentally Friendly and Economical Process for Plugging Abandoned Wells (Phase II)
    R830633C002 A Continuation of Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay
    R830633C003 Effective Stormwater and Sediment Control During Pipeline Construction Using a New Filter Fence Concept
    R830633C004 Evaluation of Sub-micellar Synthetic Surfactants versus Biosurfactants for Enhanced LNAPL Recovery
    R830633C005 Utilization of the Carbon and Hydrogen Isotopic Composition of Individual Compounds in Refined Hydrocarbon Products To Monitor Their Fate in the Environment
    R830633C006 Evaluation of Commercial, Microbial-Based Products to Treat Paraffin Deposition in Tank Bottoms and Oil Production Equipment
    R830633C007 Identifying the Signature of the Natural Attenuation in the Microbial Ecology of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Groundwater Using Molecular Methods and “Bug Traps”
    R830633C008 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil: Project Continuation
    R830633C009 Use of Earthworms to Accelerate the Restoration of Oil and Brine Impacted Sites