The preservation of environment is fundamental in order to get a self sustainable development, by keeping a harmonic relationship between oil exploration and environmental equilibrium. This is a necessary condition in order to share the oil production with other economic activities like agriculture and cattle production. In reality, the oil production is the most important factor in the national income of Venezuela; and, the oil is a strategic energy source in our modern industrial process. Therefore, it is particularly significant that all the attention be paid in protecting the environment in the course of the oil production process. The objective of this study was to evaluate the bioremediation of a soil affected by an oil spill, using direct applications of Activated Peat Moss in the soil. During the investigation, cow manure was used as a bioindicator. The results of this study demonstrated that the germination level was the highest using 1875 kg/ha of Activated Peat Moss and 14 days of incubation. Further the contamination of oil greatly reduces the native microbiological activity of soils; and the Activated Peat Moss product improves this activity and provides a clear contribution in the soil’s biological reactivation, reducing the pollution levels in 88% (TPH) in terms of 8.45% 14 days after application of Activated Peat Moss versus 85.2% after the initial spill. The practices of mechanization, application of the fertilizer and Activated Peat Moss improves the physical, chemical, and biological conditions of the soils affected by the oil spill.
The bioremediation technique used in this study involves tilling a layer of the soil between 4 to 6 inches, and turning of the soil using farming equipment (raking, plowing, tilling) to promote the oxidation and partial mechanical rupture of the compound. Fertilizers and water were added later to stimulate the biodegradation process. Some native microorganisms (located in the native soil) with the capacity to metabolize contaminated substances and its growth were stimulated in place in order to increase the biodegradation activity.
The biodegradation of hydrocarbons by native or introduced populations of microorganisms is an effective mechanism in the removal of contaminants from the environment which has been recognized as a recent viable technology (Scott and Baker, 1995).
The goal of this study was to determine effective treatment of contaminated soil from the spill of crude oil by adjusting the critical environmental factors such as: type and pH of the soil, humidity of the soil, oxygenation, administration of necessary nutrients, temperature, etc. with the purpose of increasing the microbial activity and the biodegradation of hydrocarbons.