In Situ Aerobic Bioremediation of Sediments Polluted with Petroleum Hydrocarbons: A Critical Review
Oil pollution has been a worldwide concern especially in environments where treatment is quite difficult to apply. Marine polluted sediments, in particular, constitute one of the most recalcitrant environments for bioremediation and are often the final repository of petroleum contaminants, as a result of runoff and deposition. Aerobic hydrocarbon degraders present in the sediments are tackling the pollution under oxygen-limited or oxygen-depleted conditions. Research has focused on new ways to enhance bioremediation under anoxic conditions, however aerobic bioremediation is faster, and hence more effort should be made to sustain oxygen concentration levels. In this review, the different bioremediation techniques used for the decontamination of marine sediments are briefly discussed, and focus is primarily given to the different oxygenation methods used for enhancing aerobic bioremediation and the aeration methods that are suitable for in situ application, as well as state of the art technologies that make in situ aeration an appealing approach. Based on the technologies analyzed, suggestions are made for sediment bioremediation techniques in different marine environments.