Sustainable treatment of hydrocarbon-contaminated industrial land
Cunningham, Colin John
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Land contamination by petroleum hydrocarbons is a widespread and global environmental pollution issue from recovery and refining of crude oil and the ubiquitous use of hydrocarbons in industrial processes and applications. Sustainable treatment of hydrocarbon-contaminated industrial land was considered with reference to seven published works on contaminated railway land including the track ballast, crude oil wastes and contaminated refinery soils. A methodology was developed to assess the level hydrocarbon contamination of track ballast (Anderson et al., 2000) and in Anderson et al. (2002, 2003) solvent and surfactant cleaning of ballast was investigated and potential environmental impacts of the processes examined. Optimisation of ex situ bioremediation of diesel-contaminated soil (Cunningham & Philp, 2000) demonstrated the efficacy of the addition of microorganisms (bioaugmentation) to enhance diesel biodegradation rates at field pilot scale. This work motivated a further study that examined a novel aeration approach incorporating ventilator turbines (cowls) for soil biopiles (Li et al., 2004). An optimised ex situ bioremediation for crude oil wastes was developed in Kuyukina et al. (2003) which demonstrated the efficacy of bioaugmentation and the application of biosurfactants. The final study investigated the potential application of biosurfactants to in situ remediation (Kuyukina et al., 2005) in laboratory soil columns contaminated with crude oil. The collected works are informative to those seeking to remediate hydrocarbon-contaminated industrial land and the sustainability of the approaches was considered.