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Biosurfactants and Their Application for Soil Bioremediation

Naim Kosaric*


Professor Emeritus, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada


Article history:

Received June 6, 2001
Accepted November 8, 2001

Key words:

biosurfactants, bioremediation, soil, hydrocarbons

Summary:

Biosurfactants have been shown to promote biodegradation of hydrocarbons. A review of significant work is presented. Original data for biosurfactant assisted biodegradation of a selected herbicide metholachlor, chlorinated aromatics and naphthalene are also shown. Furthermore, pilot plant and large scale bioremediations of soil contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and heavy oil were performed. In the presence of selected biosurfactants, a preferential and significant (or complete) removal of PAHs was observed after only 22 days of bioremediation. Keeping in mind that bioremediation is generally a slow process, these results show a significant reduction of the time required to bioremediate contaminated sites. Based on the laboratory and pilot plant data, field bioremediation of several large contaminated sites was performed.



*Corresponding author:    nkosaric@julian.uwo.ca

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