Kuwait's oil-polluted soil can be cleaned up with microbes

Jul 29, 1999 02:00 AM

The Petroleum Energy Centre has developed new technology to help clean up Kuwait's oil-polluted soil. According to a report in Japan Chemical Week, bioremediation-utilising micro-organisms are used to treat the soil which was polluted with oil escaping from oil wells destroyed during the Gulf War.
This aids the decomposition of the hard-to-degrade polycyclic aromatics component in the oil. The oil sludge, meanwhile, is cleaned up via a two-stage heat treatment. Approximately 2,500 cm of oil sludge extracted at the end of last year has been completely treated, bringing both oil and saline concentration in the treated soil down to 3 %.
In the course of this fiscal year a park will be constructed on cleaned-up soil, to conduct test planting and measure the build-up of substances noxious to plant matter. During the Gulf War, more than 700 of Kuwait's oil wells were destroyed and it is estimated that the escaped oil polluted an area of more than 49 sq. km of soil.

Source: IINX via Iinoil
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