Final Report: A Continuation of Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay

EPA Grant Number: R827015C025
Subproject: this is subproject number 025 , 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: A Continuation of Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay
Investigators: Ford, Laura P. , Sublette, Kerry L.
Institution: University of Tulsa
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period:     (Extended to August 31, 2004)
RFA: Integrated Petroleum Environmental Consortium (IPEC) (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Targeted Research

Objective:

The overall objective of this research project was to study the possible positive effect of organic matter in the remediation of brine-impacted soil. The efficacy of this treatment was quantified in a field study conducted in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Osage County, Oklahoma. The study also attempted to identify the mechanism or mechanisms of action of the organic matter, which possibly include: (1) a strictly physical effect on the texture of the soil; (2) an enhancement of the cation exchange capacity of the soil; and (3) an enhancement of the water-stable aggregates formed from organic matter and soil mineral particles. Given that all three of these mechanisms are affected by microbial action on the hay, the microbial populations were determined both qualitatively and quantitatively and then correlated with the results of the field studies.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

First order rate constants for salt removal are shown in Table 1. For Gibbs 7, tilling with hay and fertilizers proved to be the best treatment for salt removal (80% confidence level, CL). For Gibbs 9, which is rockier than Gibbs 7, tilling was the best treatment for salt removal (79% CL). Our proposed treatment did not always improve the salt removal.

Table 1. First Order Rate Constants for Salt Removal

Treatment

Plot

Rate Constant (k) x 104, days-1

Sodium

Chloride

Tilling

G7-2

-4

-8

G9-4

-14

-13

Tilling and Fertilizer

G7-4

-6

-11

G9-3

-6

-8

Tilling and Hay

G7-1

-7

-10

G9-2

-7

-9

Tilling, Hay, and Fertilizer

G7-3

-8

-12

G9-1

-7

-10

Data regarding our proposed mechanisms for both contaminated and control sites are presented in Table 2. Hay increased the soil’s cation exchange capacity (99.9% CL), wet aggregate stability (99.0% CL), and soil moisture level (99.9% CL), but fertilizers decreased the cation exchange capacity and soil moisture levels (both at 95% CL). Although two of our proposed mechanisms, cation exchange capacity and wet aggregate stability, were activated by hay, their improvement did not consistently translate into improved salt removal rates.

Table 2. Mean, Standard Deviation, and Counts for In-Laboratory Analyses of Soil Samples From Contaminated and Control Plots

Variable

Units

Tilling

Tilling and Fertilizer

Tilling and Hay

Tilling, Hay, and Fertilizer

Soil Moisture

% dry weight

17.17 ± 5.10 (N = 39)

16.18 ± 4.48 (N = 39)

20.45 ± 3.63 (N = 39)

18.94 ± 4.81 (N = 39)

Wet Aggregate Stability

%

63.29 ± 12.69 (N = 15)

69.86 ± 13.42 (N = 15)

72.03 ± 11.29 (N = 15)

74.40 ± 12.32 (N = 15)

Cation Exchange Capacity

meq/100 g

14.27 ± 3.18 (N = 30)

14.09 ± 2.94 (N = 30)

16.95 ± 2.17 (N = 30)

14.84 ± 2.97 (N = 30)

Permeability

cm/hr

2.08 ± 1.75 (N = 16)

2.25 ± 1.29 (N = 15)

3.35 ± 3.30 (N = 17)

2.33 ± 1.55 (N = 15)

Because microbial action is important to our proposed mechanisms, we investigated the microbial populations in the soils with phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA). The results of statistical analysis on the PLFA data are given in Table 3. Fertilizers increased the ratios of prokaryote and eukaryote populations in the contaminated sites to their populations in the treated controls, but hay increased only the ratio of the contaminated prokaryote population to the treated control population. There also were cross effects with treatment and time, but hay and fertilizer did not interact. Hay did increase the proportion of eukaryotes in the soil, thereby decreasing the Shannon’s diversity index based on the soil microbial community. Fertilizers increased the microbial stress and decreased the growth rate of Gram-negative bacteria. Because fertilizers and hay brought the prokaryote and eukaryote populations closer to their treated control populations, they are considered to be restoring the ecosystem.

As a bonus, a microcosm study was done to compare leaching rates from contaminated soil treated with tilling alone and tilling, hay, and fertilizers. The microcosms that received hay and fertilizers had slower salt removal rates, but only at the 70 percent confidence level. Microcosms with hay and fertilizers had higher soil moisture levels and produced less leachate, which was more concentrated with brine components.

We continued to recommend treatment of brine-contaminated sites with tilling, fertilizers, and hay. Tilling with hay and fertilizers was the best salt removal treatment in Gibbs 7, which has a flat slope and non-rocky soil. Tilling alone may be the best treatment for salt removal in steep, rocky sites, but the fertilizers and hay improve the microbial community, which will improve the rest of the ecosystem over time.

Table 3. MANOVA Results Showing the Effects of Time and Treatment on Microbial PLFA

Variable

Time

Fertilizer

Hay

Time *Fertilizer

Time *Hay

Fertilizer *Hay

Time * Fertilizer *Hay

Prokaryotes (pmole)

***

-

-

-

-

-

-

Eukaryotes (pmole)

***

-

-

-

-

-

-

Prokaryote ratio to control

***

***

**

-

**

-

**

Eukaryote ratio to control

**

***

-

*

**

-

***

Metabolic Status Ratio

-

*

-

-

-

-

-

Environmental Stress Ratio

**

*

-

-

-

-

-

Shannon’s Diversity Index

***

-

**

-

-

-

-

* = statistically significant at 95% CL; ** = statistically significant at 99.0% CL; *** = statistically significant at 99.9% CL; - = not significant at 95% CL.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 3 publications for this subproject

Supplemental Keywords:

land, precipitation, ecological effects, indicators, restoration, terrestrial, remediation, bioremediation, cleanup, public policy, cost benefit, environmental chemistry, biology, engineering, ecology, hydrology, south central, Oklahoma, OK, EPA Region 6, agriculture, Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas (SIC 1311), Crude Petroleum Pipelines (SIC 4612),, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Waste, Water, Hydrology, Contaminated Sediments, Remediation, Chemistry, State, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, biodegradation, contaminated sediment, brine impacted soil, soils, contaminated soil, subsurface drainage system, hay, desalination, Oklahoma (OK)

Relevant Websites:

http://ipec.utulsa.edu/ Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003

  • 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