Monitoring of petroleum hydrocarbon degradative potential of indigenous microorganisms in ozonated soil
This study was performed to investigate the petroleum hydrocarbon (PH) degradative potential of indigenous microorganisms in ozonated soil to better develop combined pre-ozonation/bioremediation technology. Diesel-contaminated soils were ozonated for 0–900min. PH and microbial concentrations in the soils decreased with increased ozonation time. The greatest reduction of total PH (TPH, 47.6%) and aromatics (11.3%) was observed in 900-min ozonated soil. The number of total viable heterotrophic bacteria decreased by three orders of magnitude in the soil. Ozonated soils were incubated for 9 weeks for bioremediation. The number of microorganisms in the soils increased during the incubation period, as monitored by culture- and nonculture-based methods. The soils showed additional PH-removal during incubation, supporting the presence of PH-degraders in the soils. The highest removal (25.4%) of TPH was observed during the incubation of 180-min ozonated soil during the incubation while a negligible removal was shown in 900-min ozonated soil. This negligible removal could be explained by the existence of relatively few or undetected PH-degraders in 900-min ozonated soil. After a 9-week incubation of the ozonated soils, 180-min ozonated soil showed the lowest TPH concentration, suggesting that appropriate ozonation and indigenous microorganisms survived ozonation could enhance remediation of PH-contaminated soil. Microbial community composition in 9-week incubated soils revealed a slight difference between 900-min ozonated and unozonated soils, as analyzed by whole cell hybridization. Taken together, this study provided insight into indigenous microbial potential to degrade PH in ozonated soils.