Approved Abstracts

Bioremediation of soils degraded by sewage sludge: application of earthworms, microbes and plants



Author(s): ERIK URIONABARRENETXEA; ERIK URIONABARRENETXEA; NEREA GARCÍA-VELASCO; MIKEL ANZA; CARLOS GARBISU; UNAI ARTETXE; RAFAEL LACALLE; JOSE MARIA BECERRIL; MANU SOTO;
Presenter: Erik Urionabarrenetxea

Actual soil loss along with the scarceness of agricultural and natural soils requires the development of tools for soil recovery. Thus, the recovery of polluted soils offers a chance for economic and social regeneration and has led to the development of several soil decontamination technologies during the last years. The majority of the remediation techniques are based on physical and/or chemical technologies; which are really effective, but highly expensive and harmful for the environment. Nonetheless, biological technologies are more cost effective and eco-friendly; but also more time consuming. Bioremediation technologies and their yields have been recently studied, especially bioaugmentation, phytoremediation and vermiremediation. However, little is known about their combined potential that could lead to synergies or additions in the remediation performance. In the present work, phyto-, vermi- and micro-remediation technologies were applied in soils polluted with sewage sludges in order to find the best fitting technology or combination of technologies. With that purpose, eight experimental groups (n=3) were set placing plants (P), earthworms (E), bacteria (B), plants + earthworms (P+E), bacteria + earthworms (B+E), bacteria + plants (B+P), plants + bacteria + earthworms (P+B+E) and a non-treated control (N.T) for 12 months in a landfill where sewage sludges were deployed for decades. In order to assess the efficiency or the yield of each remediation treatment, chemical and ecotoxicological characterizations were carried out before and after remediation process (after 1 year). Results showed high elimination rates for dieldrin in all the experimental groups; with eliminations between 50%-78%. Paralelly, B(a)P and heavy metals were reduced between 20%-25% (Cd 15%-35%; Ni 24%-37%; Pb 15%-33%; Cr 7%-39%; B(a)P 19.5%-28%). Among treatments, the triple treatment (P+B+E) and dual treatments (P+E, B+E) showed the best elimination performances. Likewise, ecotoxicity tests carried out with earthworms, plants and bacteria, pointed P+B+E treatment as the most accurate to improve soil heath.
Acknowledgments: Basque Gov (IT810-13; ITO18-16), CTM2017-87766-R, AGL 2015-64481-C2-1-R and AGL2016-76592-R from MINECO, PhytoSUDOE-SOE1/P5/E0189.


Keywords: bioremediation; in situ; sewage sludges

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