Oil-Contaminated Water Treatment

Sustainable Bioremediation of Industrial Wastewater

CL Solutions provides a special consortium of microbes for oil-contaminated water treatment.   Under various conditions, the oil removal rate was as much as 1,300 mg/L/day.  In some situations the remediation goal is simply to remove the visible sheen or separate-phase oil.  With aeration, CL Solutions microbes were able to remove the visible oil layer and reduce the TPH concentration from 29% to less than 1% in 30 days at a waste oil lagoon. For more information and other case studies click here.

A special consortium of microbes removed the visible oil layer from this wastewater.

Oil-Water Separator Discharge Improvement

Similar to waste water treatment in lagoons, Petrox is used to improve the performance of industrial and commercial oil-water separators by degrading dissolved-phase oil.  The treatment goal is to reduce the TPH concentration to below discharge limits to avoid fines, surcharges and potential discontinuation of service.  The Petrox organisms may be introduced into the collection and treatment system at any point,  but are usually added to the collection or equalization sump for longer contact time.  In most cases, the dissolved phase total petroleum hydrocarbons  (TPH) is reduced by 50% to 90% in a manner of days.

For example, at a large city municipal Petrox reduced the TPH discharge from 25.9 to 7.40 mg/L in three days.  At smaller retail oil-change centers the reduction was from 278 mg/L TPH to 14.1 mg/L TPH  in 21 days.  The biological treatment is maintained by adding a gallon of Petrox to the sump weekly.

The cost for maintaining discharge compliance at these applications is as little as $250 per month.

Improving Long-Term Bioremediation Results with Nutrients

Adding Nutrients Increases Long-Term Population and Bioremediation Results

The goal of bioaugmentation is to improve the rate of contaminant removal by adding a high population of beneficial microbes to the contaminated media.  The additional microbes  should provide short-term benefit as the microbes begin metabolizing the contaminants immediately upon injection. But what benefit does bioaugmentation provide in the long term? And how much benefit does bioaugmentation provide over biostimulation by adding nutrients to the native organisms?

A client of CL Solutions completed a bench-scale study to answer these questions.  A bench-scale study was preferred to a field study because it removes the potential distribution and time-lag issues associated with the distances between injection and monitoring locations in the field.

Samples of petroleum-contaminated soils were obtained and separated into split samples for treatment with microbes and nutrients. Some were untreated for comparison.  Samples were tested for petroleum concentrations, including C-fraction concentrations after 30, 40 and 60 days.  Heterotrophic populations were measured at 40 and 60 days.

The tests showed the following results in the early stages:

  • All of the treated samples showed more than 80% total petroleum reduction in the first 30 days.
  • The sample treated with nutrients only had the same level of petroleum removal as the bioaugmented samples in the first 30 days.
  • The heterotrophic population of the biostimulated sample was as high as in the bioaugmented samples at 40 days.

After 30 days the situation changed.

  • The bioaugmented microbial population continued to increase  after 40 days and may have increased by a factor of 100 times.  Meanwhile, the biostimulated population appeared to stall.
  • The petroleum removal continued in the bioaugmented samples and reached as high as 93% removal.  In comparison the biostimulated sample stalled at 82% removal.
  • The difference appears to be that the bioaugmented samples removed the C-21 to C-35 concentrations at a much higher rate than the biostimulated sample.
  • Phenanthrene was target chemical for bioremediation. The biostimulated sample showed 39% removal while the bioaugmented samples showed complete removal to BDL.

Overall, the superior performance of the bioaugmented samples appears to be related to having a greater metabolic range that removed the heavier hydrocarbon fractions.  Microbes with the extended metabolic range could continue to multiply as they grew on the heavy hydrocarbon fraction.  The results are consistent with field results showing the recalcitrance of heavier hydrocarbon fractions and compounds like naphthalene and phenanthrene under natural attenuation.

Contact CL Solutions for more information and insights.

 

 

 

 

 

In-Situ Petroleum Bioremediation Rates With Petrox

Recent data from field applications of Petrox bioremediation show degradation rates of 100 to 500 micrograms per liter (ug/ml) per day. These degradation rates are for total petroleum hydrocarbons or total BTEX, depending on the site monitoring requirements.

Achieving high degradation rates requires high initial concentrations. Initial concentrations of 1,000 to 10,000 ug/l were used to develop these degradation rates.

At lower concentrations, the degradation rates depend on effective distribution of microbes for cell to contaminant contact. Secondly, desorption of petroleum constituents from submerged soil may cause rebound and suggest lower degradation rates. For these reasons we cannot calculate a degradation rate for petroleum at low concentrations.

In situ Heavy Oil Bioremediation in Alberta

Using a special microbial blend, Delta Environmental has been successfully bioremediating high concentrations of heavy oil in soil around pipelines and oil production equipment.  At a typical site, Delta reduced the concentration of petroleum C34 to >C50 from 130,000 mg/Kg to less than 10,900 in 30 days.  That is a removal rate of 3,970 mg/Kg/day.  This approach not only benefits the environment and meets green cleanup standards, but saves money and equipment downtime for the facility.

Sulfolane Bioremediation

Sulfolane is an emerging contaminant of concern for potential environmental impact to ground water in Alberta.  CL Solutions recently completed laboratory bench-scale testing that showed the Petrox organisms can efficiently degrade sulfolane.  Under laboratory conditions Petrox organisms metabolized sulfolane at a minimum rate of 33 ug/L/day.  Further lab tests are under way and field scale implementation may proceed in the Summer of 2017.