Page 3 - OSMERT-2 Module 6 (inside pages) final
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REMEDIATION OF HYDROCARBON POLLUTED SITES AND GIS
               APPLICATIONS

               Introduction
               Various definitions have been offered by scholars to situate bioremediation as both a process
               and a technique. For the purpose of this lecture, a few of these definitions are presented here.
               Bioremediation can be defined as any process that uses microorganisms or their enzymes to
               return the environment altered by contaminants to its original condition (Boopathy, 2000). It
               can also be described as “a treatability technology that uses biological activity to reduce the
               concentration or toxicity of a pollutant King, Long & Sheldon (1997).

               Bioremediation process involves detoxification and mineralization, where the waste is
               converted into inorganic compounds such as carbon dioxide, water and methane (Reshma,
               Spandana&Sowmya, 2011). When compounds are persistent in the environment, their
               biodegradation often proceeds through multiple steps utilizing different enzyme systems or
               different microbial populations. Bioremediation is employed in  sites like contaminated
               wastewater, ground or surface waters, soils, sediments and air where there has been either
               accidental or intentional release of pollutants or chemicals.(Ali (2010), Aghamiri,
               Kabiri&Emtiazi,2011).

               It is now generally agreed that contaminated land, soil and water is a potential threat to human
               health. This discovery over the recent years has led to local, national, international as well as
               bilateral efforts to remedy many of  these polluted sites. These responses have often come
               either as a response to the risk  of adverse  health or environmental effects caused by
               contamination or to enable the site to be redeveloped for use. Unfortunately, these efforts are
               not well coordinated and therefore leave much to be desired in Nigeria especially in the Niger
               delta region where this hydrocarbon pollution is most grievous.

               Recent studies on the hydrocarbon footprints and oil spill polluted sites especially in Nigeria
               Niger Delta is quite revealing. This has no doubt aggravated the necessity for deploying
               appropriate modern technologies  to  combat the  menace for which bioremediation is
               indispensable. Just last year in September 2012, the University of Port Harcourt Stanley Lawson
               Chair  of Environmental Geology  organized a workshop  on remediation  of hydrocarbon
               polluted sites. This workshop had its main objectives as to:

                 Produce comprehensive documentation of all hydrocarbon contaminated sites across the Niger delta
                   using various sources and present in digital GIS format;

                 Produce hydrocarbon contamination risk map of the Niger Delta from assessment and
                   categorization/ classification of contaminated sites;

                 Carry out site specific remediation studies of selected contaminated sites (extremely high aliphatic
                   &aromatic hydrocarbon pollution over 2m depth with high risk of groundwater pollution); and
                 Design and  implement pilot remediation of a selected site  (using several  approaches)  to
                   demonstrate effectiveness, practicability &economic efficiency.











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