Evaluation of bioremediation treatments in a shoreline-simulating microcosm

Reetta Piskonen, Anu Kapanen, Timo Mansikka, Jorma Rytkönen, Merja Itävaara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A microcosm test was designed to study the efficiency of bioremediation treatments at oil contaminated shorelines. The biodegradation in the hermetically closed microcosm was monitored by measuring the total cumulative inorganic carbon evolved during the bioremediation process. The effects of three different additives, medium-release methylene urea (MU) + apatite, fast-release MU + superphosphate, and a biosorbent, on the biodegradation of weathered crude oil (North Sea Brent) were evaluated at +10°C. All the additives significantly increased mineralization. The total amount of inorganic carbon evolved during the 10-week study was measured in the microcosm treated with oil, and with oil and medium-release MU + apatite, fast-release MU + superphos-phate, and biosorbent. The amounts were 40, 670, 490, and 580 mg, respectively. The respirometric measurements were supported by microbiological determinations, ATP content in the sand, number of heterotrophic bacteria, and amount of biomass-C determined by the substrate-induced respiration method. Nutrient analysis indicated that biodegradation was nitrogen limited. The microcosm test proved to be suitable for comparing the effectiveness of different treatments in enhancing the biodegradation of crude oil-contaminated shores.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-158
JournalBioremediation Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • biodegradation
  • bioremediation
  • crude oil
  • simulation
  • mineralization
  • shore


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