How To Remediate Oil Contaminated Soil

Remediate Oil Contaminated SoilThe energy demand has seen a sharp rise in the last many decades due to increasing population and modernization of society across the world. Petroleum oil is one of the most important resources which fulfils the energy demand of today. However, it is found to be one of the major pollutants of the soil and reason behind environmental deterioration.

Various offshore and onshore petroleum industry activities like production, transportation, storage and management suffer major and minor accidents that cause oil spills. Moreover, the refining and further processing of petroleum to develop derivatives may also lead to leakage from pipelines, tanks, equipment etc.

In the past decades, the world has witnessed massive oil spill incidents like that of U.S Gulf of Mexico, Deepwater Horizon disaster, Mauritius Oil spill recently and others. This has drastically affected the environment and remains a major global concern. Moreover, it is toxic to humans, animals and adversely impacts plant life due to contamination of soil.

Petroleum primarily consists of a mixture of aromatic hydrocarbons, aliphatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic hydrocarbons, non-hydrocarbon compounds which are mostly biodegradable. It affects the soil by disturbing the chemical balance, induces oxidative stress and causes low nutrient availability for plants. Additionally, it is found that petroleum oil contamination affects processes like seed germination, photosynthesis, nutrient assimilation, root development, even resulting in plant death.

The presence of toxic and carcinogenic elements in petroleum oil and its derivatives can contaminate the food chain and cause dangerous diseases like cancer, nervous system depression and other ailments in humans.

Various methods have been researched, devised and implemented to remediate the soil contaminated by oil. It includes physical, chemical and biological removal of contaminants. The physical and chemical methods use incineration, landfilling, thermal desorption, cement kiln etc. But they have multiple disadvantages.

The excavation cost, transportation of contaminated soil for ex-situ treatment and labour intensive work make it expensive. Also, the practical application of these techniques seems to be difficult. Additionally, it has been found that physical and chemical methods destroy the natural soil microorganisms and affects its ecosystem. Thus, bioremediation has emerged as one of the most preferred methods for remediation of soil impacted by oil.


Bioremediation can be defined as the process in which natural living microorganisms are utilized to break down the pollutants present in the soil. It is known to degrade, detoxify and transform the pollutants into harmless substances and turn the soil into its native environment. It is regarded as one of the most sustainable methods to remediate soil pollution by oil. Moreover, it is cost-efficient and effective. Different strategies like phytoremediation, rhizo-remediation, biostimulation, and bio-augmentation are used.

However, there are certain challenges with the bioremediation of contaminated soil. It is generally perceived to be time-consuming, and factors like temperature, pH, oxygen and salinity impact the bioremediation of the petroleum-contaminated soil. But there are innovative and simple solutions which can help overcome these challenges.

Organica Biotech is one of the leading companies with efficient and effective oil and soil bioremediation solutions. Bioclean FOG is one of the best solutions which assists in the fast bioremediation of soil. The bio-augmentation strategy is used where the formulation of microbial community helps in degrading hydrocarbons and other pollutants. Thus, you can use Bioclean FOG to boost soil bioremediation.

Post by Priyanka Khaire