Effects of poultry droppings, compost & natural rubber sludge on bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soil

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This study aimed at using bioremediation, as the primary method of decontamination for a soil contaminated with waste petroleum oil in a mining area. The soil was obtained from Adamus Resources Ltd (ADL), a mining company located in the Western Region of Ghana. The experiment was carried out in the Laboratory using three levels of nitrogen concentrations of 0.2%, 0.4%, and 0.6% from three different organic nutrient supplements namely: Compost(C), Poultry droppings (PD), and natural Rubber processing sludge (RS). A baseline study was carried out on the soil as well as the three organic nutrient supplements and the result of the baseline study shows that the soil contains only 0.03% nitrogen and 0.12% phosphorus with a C: N ratio of 80:3 indicating that the soil lacks the required level of nitrogen for optimum bioremediation to take place. Approximately 1kg composite samples of the oil contaminated soil were placed in plastic containers and were then treated with 0.2%N C, 0.2%N PD, 0.2%N RS, 0.4%N C, 0.4%N PD, 0.4%N RS, 0.6%N C, 0.6%N PD, 0.6%N RS and the one without nutrient supplement serving as the control. During the eight weeks incubation period, the pH, microbial counts, TPH, as well as nutrient levels were monitored periodically. At the end of the eight weeks of incubation, 95.41%, 99.06%, 93.53%, 91.82%, 92.13%, 90.92%, 83.17%, 81.33%, 86.55 % of the 1009.12 mg/kg initial TPH concentration in the contaminated soil, were degraded in the soil samples treated with 0.2%N C, 0.2%N PD, 0.2%N RS, 0.4%N C, 0.4%N PD, 0.4%N RS, 0.6%N C, 0.6%N PD, 0.6%N RS respectively and these were significantly higher at p ˂ 0.05 relative to the 50.20% recorded by the control soil. It was evident that the addition of the organic nutrient supplements positively aided the biodegradation of the petroleum hydrocarbons in the soil. Among the different N concentrations, the 0.2 % N concentrations recorded the best results in all the three organic nutrient supplements and the poultry droppings was the best among the other amendment materials.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Environmental Science of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the Award of Master of Science Degree in Environmental Science.