M. D. Lee, K. P. Garon, R. L. Raymond, Sr.
In-situ bioreclamation is an effective method for remediation of petroleum-hydrocarbon contaminated soils and groundwater. In many cases, the native soil and groundwater microorganisms can biodegrade organic contaminants that have been spilled onto the soil and/or contaminated the groundwater. However, the microorganisms are limited in their ability to biodegrade the organics by the availability of oxygen and inorganic nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphate. In-situ bioreclamation provides the microorganisms with the proper conditions for rapid biodegradation of many petroleum hydrocarbons including gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, and aviation fuel. In-situ bioreclamation can also be used to remediate soils and groundwater contaminated with nonpetroleum contaminants so long as the compounds are biodegradable. The time required for in-situ bioreclamation of a site will be controlled by the rate at which groundwater, carrying oxygen and nutrients, can be circulated through the formation and by the choice of the oxygen source. In-situ bioreclamation has been successfully applied in many sites. At one site in the Eastern United States, over 10,000 gal of gasoline adsorbed in the soil was completely removed by in-situ bioreclamation. At another site in the Midwestern United States, in-situ bioreclamation was able to remove almost all of the aviation fuel below the water table within two years.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91003©1990 AAPG Annual Convention, San Francisco, California, June 3-6, 1990