A study was carried out to test a simple bioremediation treatment strategy in the Arctic and analyze the influence of fertilization the degradation of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, e.g., pristine, n-tetradecane, n-pentadecane, 2-methylnaphthalene, naphthalene, and acenaphthalene. The site was a coarse sand pad that once supported fuel storage tanks. Diesel-range organics concentrations were 250-860 mg/kg soil at the beginning of the study. Replicate field plots treated with fertilizer yielded final concentrations of 0, 50, 100, or 200 mg N/kg soil. Soil pH and soil-water potentials decreased due to fertilizer application. The addition of fertilizer considerably increased soil respiration potentials, but not the populations of microorganisms measured. Fertilizer addition also led to ??? 50% loss of measured aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons in surface and subsurface soils. For fertilized plots, hydrocarbon loss was not associated with the quantity of fertilizer added. Losses of aliphatic hydrocarbons were ascribed to biotic processes, while losses of aromatic hydrocarbons were due to biotic and abiotic processes.
Additional publication details
Biodegradation of aliphatic vs. aromatic hydrocarbons in fertilized arctic soils