Bioremediation Types and Bioremediation of Oil Spills

In Situ Bioremediation


Bioremediation of Oil Spills

Bioremediation of Oil Spills can't be discussed without mentioning In Situ Bioremediation which is the use of living organisms for the recovery/cleaning up of a contaminated medium such as soil, sediment, air, or water. the word "remediate" means to solve a problem and "bioremediate" means to use biological organisms to solve an environmental problem like contaminated soil or groundwater. or Bioremediation is the use of microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, fungi), plants (termed phytoremediation), or biological enzymes to achieve treatment of hazardous waste.

The idea of bioremediation has become increasingly popular in this 21st century, for instance, Nigeria is Popularly Known as the giant of Africa, a country with the biggest population in Africa blessed with abundant diverse natural resources of which it is well known for petroleum production and exportation. Oil producing countries like Nigeria overtimes has experienced an economic boom in its economy as a result of the high demand of this product. As it is natural for Humans to explore; the exploration of oil by various companies in this oil-producing countries has done more harm than good to the environment.

Environmental pollution is one of the basic challenges of modern day society, Man has polluted his environment through its actions directly or indirectly and man is in desperate need to fix his depleted environment.

Over times man has engaged several control measures to salvage his environment. To create an eco-friendly habitat; most of these measures has yielded little or no effect to the environment..most of these measures are capital intensive and bogus. "Bioremediation of Oil Spills"

In modern day society Oil spillage has become man's number one nightmare..these oil spillages and other forms of environmental pollution has yielded to the discovery of Bioremediation

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A good case study worth noting is in 2010 when Bioremediation was used extensively to combat the devastating effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 and BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. During this oil spills, microorganisms were used to consume petroleum hydrocarbons and played a significant role in reducing the environmental impact.

Bioremediation technologies utilize naturally occurring microorganisms, like bacteria, fungi, and yeast, to degrade hazardous substances into non-toxic or less toxic substances. Bioremediation technologies are applied to contaminated waste, ground or surface waters, soils, sediments, and air where there has been either accidental or intentional release of pollutants or chemicals that create a risk to human, animal, or ecosystem health.

Processes involved in bioremediation might include the introduction of new organisms to a site or the adjustment of environmental conditions to enhance degradation rates of indigenous fauna. "Bioremediation of Oil Spills"

Bioremediation Types and Bioremediation of Oil Spills

  • In situ Bioremediation
  • Ex Situ Bioremediation

Ex Situ Bioremediation

Ex situ bioremediation requires excavation or pumping of contaminated soil or groundwater, respectively, before treatment is initiated also ex situ techniques are generally easier to control, faster, also able to treat a greater range of contaminants and soil types than in situ techniques.

Bioremediation of Oil Spills

In situ Bioremediation

In situ bioremediation technology was originally developed as a more cost-effective, more effective alternative to the standard pump-and-treat methods used to clean up aquifers and soils contaminated with organic chemicals examples are fuel, hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents but has since expanded in breadth to address explosives, inorganics (e.g., nitrates), and toxic metals (e.g., chromium). in  Bioremediation of  Oil spills, has the potential to provide advantages such as complete destruction of the contaminant(s), lower risk to site workers, and lower equipment/operating costs.

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One way to categorize ISB is by the sort of metabolism involved. The two high-level classes of metabolism are aerobic and anaerobic. The target metabolism for an ISB system can rely upon the contaminants of concern. Some contaminants (e.g., fuel hydrocarbons) are degraded via anaerobic pathway, some anaerobically (e.g., carbon tetrachloride), and some contaminants can be biodegraded under either aerobic or anaerobic conditions (e.g., trichloroethene).

Advantages of In Situ Bioremediation

  • Accelerated in situ Bioremediation will offer volumetric treatment, treating both dissolved and sorbed contaminant.
  • It may be attainable to utterly transform organic contaminants into innocuous substances (e.g., carbon dioxide, water, ethane).
  • In situ bioremediation usually costs less than alternative remedial options.
  • The time needed to treat subsurface pollution using accelerated in situ bioremediation will usually be quicker than pump-and-treat processes.
  • The areal zone of treatment using bioremediation can be larger than with other remedial technologies because the treatment moves with the plume and can reach areas that would otherwise be inaccessible.
  • As an in situ, there is reduced potential for cross-media transfer of contaminants
  • As an in situ, there is reduced risk of human exposure to contaminated media
  • As an in situ, there is typically little secondary waste generated


In conclusion, Bioremediation provides a good cleanup strategy for various types of pollution.   "Bioremediation of Oil Spills"

Advantages of  Bioremediation

  • Bioremediation is usually less disruptive to the surroundings than excavation-based processes;
  • The cost of treating a hazardous waste site using bioremediation technologies can be considerably lower than that for conventional treatment methods. and
  • Biologically-based remediation detoxifies dangerous  substances rather than just transferring contaminants from one environmental medium to another;
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