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Dirty Energy & Fuel

Chicken Poop Cleans Up Crude Oil in Soil

chicken manure

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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Image: LollyKnit at Flickr under CC license




8 comments
  1. Solar tronenergy

    In two-weeks’ time chicken manure can provide the necessary microbial and chemical initiators to facilitate the biodegradation of crude oil when applied to contaminated soil. Chicken shit raises the pH of soil to the optimal range of 6.3 to 7.4 for the growth of the oil-utilizing bacteria. Who knew?

  2. Uncle B

    Who on earth has enough chicken shit to cover a major oil spill? These things are sudden and catastrophic and cover large areas fast. How do we get enough poop, fast enough to help, can it be stockpiled just in case? Force feeding chickens increase pooping? Squeeze the little buggers empty by hand?

  3. may

    erm

    is that the idea of spreading pseudo-scares
    or the idea of spreading chook poo.
    how? how thick?
    free range? (unlikely) from caged factory fowls? is it dried? a slurry? is it ploughed in?if so,at what density?
    has it been steamed or is it raw?

    the article doesn’t say.

    oo look.
    a debate.

  4. Shannon

    The bacteria pseudomonas aeruginosa (P.A.)is a very resistant bacteria that has its own outer protective coating, making it very hard to penetrate & kill (resists antibiotics). People with compromised immune systems, such as those with cystic fibrosis, burn victims, etc., are susceptible to this bacteria, with devastating health consequences if they become colonized with P.A.
    Pseudomonas a. is found in the environment, but the thought of intentionally spreading pseudomonas a. far & wide sounds frightening to someone with CF.
    However, the idea certainly warrants research.

  5. may

    nothing in the article about density of application.

    if too much of anything is piled on it can block soil pores.

    nothing in the article of the source of the manure.

    (antibiotics also break down in soil)

    why the thumbs down?

    knee jerk negativity?

    a short article like this would surely lead to finding out more about the process before pontificating an automatic rejection.

  6. Sergio Mino

    The adition of chicken manure to the soil can also be harmful for the soil as the antibiotics that are used for the chicken to growh are harmfulm, and is widly known that the use of chicken manure in soils can dispread harmful vectors and can be an overdose of nitrogen. Actually the use of chicken manure can actually lead to the obstruction of soil pores which leads to a deficiency in the oxygen transport within the soil, which actually can decrease subtantially the bioremediation done aerobically.

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