Researchers at Wuhan University in China discovered that adding chicken manure to soil contaminated with crude oil triggered degradation of 75% of the oil within two weeks.
“The use of chicken manure to stimulate crude oil biodegradation in the soil could be one of the several sought-after environmentally friendly ways of abating petroleum hydrocarbon pollution in the natural ecosystem.”
The report, published in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution, suggests that animal waste, particularly chicken manure, can provide the necessary microbial and chemical initiators to facilitate the biodegradation of crude oil when applied to contaminated soil. Chicken manure raises the pH of soil to the optimal range of 6.3 to 7.4 for the growth of the oil-utilizing bacteria.
Bello Yakubu, Huiwen Ma, and ChuYu Zhang analyzed the microbes from soil samples and found 21 different species, of which the Bacillus species and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were the best for breaking down crude oil.
Compared to leaving the oil to degrade without additives, the manure method was 25% more effective in soils with a 10% volume to weight oil contamination. This method of bioremediation could result in the use of less of the applications of potentially harmful chemical fertilizers to contaminated soils, which can lessen the quality of the soil and cause soil hardening.
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