Evaluation of the efficiency of various commercial products for the bio-remediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soil
Bioremediation has become an important method for the treatment of terrestrial oil spills and is often favoured over strictly physical-chemical methods. In this study, enzymatic analyses and signature lipid biomarkers were employed to evaluate the efficacy of selected bioremediation products on control and oil contaminated soil plots. It is envisioned that these biological indicators may be used as possible adjuncts to the strictly physical-chemical criteria most commonly employed. The application of the enzymatic and signature biomarker methods for product evaluation proved successful. The enzymatic assays provided a valuable insight into shifts in the functional diversity of the soil microbial communities resultant from the various treatments. Stimulation or inhibition of the microbial communities as a result of the various treatments was also demonstrated, particularly with regards to dehydrogenase activity. Phospholipid fatty acid profiles proved sufficiently sensitive to allow differentiation between products and resultant microbial communities that corresponded to satisfactory and unsatisfactory petroleum hydrocarbon removal.