Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fungi clean oil-polluted soil, study shows

Date:
May 21, 2014
Source:
Aalto University
Summary:
Fungi can be harnessed to cleanpolluted soil which cannot be cleaned using traditional composting, researchers have found, demonstrating that soil that has been polluted by organic pollutants such as oil can be treated by composting. However, it is not effective against many other organic pollutants such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons and dioxins. Soil polluted with other organic pollutants than oil accounts for as much as 45% of excavated contaminated soil.

The pictures show how the fungus grows in the soil and on the surface as well as how the fungus growing on the bark is placed into the soil in layers.
Credit: Image courtesy of Aalto University

Fungi can be harnessed to clean polluted soil which cannot be cleaned using traditional composting. This has been found by a researcher at Aalto University in Finland.

Related Articles


"Soil that has been polluted by organic pollutants such as oil can be treated by composting. However it is not effective against many other organic pollutants such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons and dioxins. Soil polluted with other organic pollutants than oil accounts for as much as 45 % of excavated contaminated soil. The compounds are found in areas where sawing is carried out and in areas where there is distribution of fuels, waste treatment and various kinds of industry," explains Aalto University researcher Erika Winquist.

In Finland during 2005 and 2006, almost 3 million tonnes of excavated, contaminated soil was transported into landfill sites and other treatment plants. Most of the soil ends up in landfills because at the moment, landfill sites accept it for the use of construction of field structures for new landfill sites.

A more sustainable practice would be to clean the polluted soil, rather than just take it to a landfill. At the moment putting it into a landfill is far too easy and cheap. In addition, there is limited use of other methods. For example, burning the soil at a high temperature (over 1,000 degrees) in an incinerator destroys the organic pollutants, but the process is expensive and there is insufficient incineration capacity in Finland to treat all the soil that requires burning. Fungi could be used to expand bioremediation for the destruction of the more enduring organic pollutants too, states Winquist.

Mycelia break down soil-polluting compounds

The fungi are grown on pine bark, which contains compounds that prevent the growth of other microbes which makes it a good growing medium for fungi. The growth period lasts 4 to 6 weeks. The actual cleaning by using fungi takes place in a treatment plant where the mycelia of white rot fungi are allowed to grow in the polluted soil.

White rot fungi grow naturally on wood. As they grow in the soil they break down the compounds with lignin-like structures that pollute it. The soils examined were from old sawmill sites that were ontaminated with polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH compounds) and dioxins. In laboratory scale tests, the best results showed 96 % of PAH compounds and 64 % of the dioxins were broken down in three months.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Aalto University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Aalto University. "Fungi clean oil-polluted soil, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521094743.htm>.
Aalto University. (2014, May 21). Fungi clean oil-polluted soil, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521094743.htm
Aalto University. "Fungi clean oil-polluted soil, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521094743.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins