2021 | Kazakhstan | Tomiris Smogulova

Water saving in oil bioremediation technique

Water issue adressed: Too dirty
Due to the intensive land use for agriculture, there is a risk that soil and groundwater might be contaminated. For this reason, my project aims to solve this problem through bioremediation and return used water for agricultural purposes (irrigation).

Intensive land use for agriculture in the nearest future could involve depleted industrial fields contaminated by oil. For Kazakhstan, a country with a wide territory and a lack of water resources, it is important to apply eco-friendly cleanup technologies when planning extensive agricultural development. My work aimed to investigate the oil spills bioremediation with the application of the ex-situ method to clean the soil and water and for use in agriculture. There are 2 main stages: cultivation of oil destructing microorganisms; soil and water treatment in the presence of destructor. After watering the soil oil products go up on the water surface and make it possible for microorganisms to use them as the energy source and make it reusable for further purposes.

This is how I came up with the idea for this project:

I read about Kazakhstan's land use for agricultural purposes. Also, in the lessons, we have discussed microorganisms' ability to utilize oil as energy. I connected these 2 things and understood that contaminated oil and water sources can be cleaned. I talked to the teacher and decided to use bioremediation.


Water saving in oil bioremediation techniques Kazakhstan is the ninth-largest country in the world covering a land area of 2,724,900 square kilometres. The country has the potential for providing agricultural products to 1,5B people worldwide. At the same time, the Republic of Kazakhstan belongs to the countries that may face the problem of water shortage in the next decade. Intensive land use for agriculture could involve depleted industrial fields contaminated by oil and other pollutants. Also, land development itself involves intensive use of different types of machinery fueled by petrol. This could lead to soil and surface water contamination by oil spills. Bioremediation for oil-contaminated soil and wastewater is known as the most natural and environmentally friendly technique. This biological method involves water consumption as well. Therefore, the objectives of involving previously unused lands in agricultural circulation in Kazakhstan are associated not only with their pollution but also with the need to conserve water. Method of biological treatment in special installations - ex-situ, consists of the next stages: 1. cultivation of oil destructing microorganisms; 2. soil and water treatment in the presence of a destructor. This method will be effective due to the cultivation of the most active biological oil destructor and will allow more rational use of a given amount of water in the ex-situ method. In the study, microbial isolates were cultivated and investigated. The most active microorganism for the destruction of oil was identified. The opportunities for saving and reusing water while using an ex-situ method discussed and proposed for future large-scale investigation.


Ania Andersch

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