Remediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils by Microwave Continuous Irradiation


  • Ogbuka P. Chidi The University of Nottingham
  • Farrow T. Salome
  • Benson Oguarabau
  • Eterigho J. Elizabeth
  • Njoku E. Romanus


Hydrocarbons, Petroleum, Microwave irradiation, contaminated soils remediation


Hydrocarbon contaminated soil sample was subjected to a continuous microwave irradiation using a 30 kW microwave system. The sample was subjected to treatment using difference flow rate conditions, and the residual organics in the treated samples were extracted using Accelerated Solvent Extractor (ASE 200). By fractionation, the aromatics and aliphatic in the extracted organics were separated. A Varian CP-3800 gas chromatograph coupled to a Varian 1200 Quadrupole mass spectrometer was used to analyse the aromatic fraction to ascertain the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) level in the treated samples. A thermogravimetric analyser (TGA) was also used to analyse the samples to ascertain the relationship between sample weight losses with increasing temperature. A maximum of 48% organic removal was recorded for the system. An extrapolation of results from the continuous irradiation microwave system with reference to results from batch treatment of the same soil shows the continuous irradiation system to be a more efficient treatment system.


Cairney T., and Hobson D.M., ‘Contaminated Land’, Second Edition, E and FN Spon, London, pp93-98, 1998.

USEPA, Needs Assessment for USEPA’s Integrated Risk Information System’ United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2003.

Peijun L., Tieheng S., Frank S., Chungui Z., Hairong Z., Xianzhe X., Graeme A., Xuejun M., Mayumi A. ‘Field-Scale Bioremediation of Soil Contaminated with Crude Oil’, Environmental Engineering Science, 19, 5, pp 277-289, 2002.

Roldán-Martín A., Esparza-García F., Calva-Calva G., Rodríguez-Vázquez R. ‘Effects of Mixing Low Amounts of Orange Peel (Citrus reticulata) with Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Soil in Solid Culture to Promote Remediation’, Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A: Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering, 41, 10, pp 2373-2385, 2006.

Obbard J. P., Ng K. L. and XU R. ‘Bioremediation of Petroleum Contaminated Beach Sediments: Use of Crude Palm Oil and Fatty Acids to Enhance Indigenous Biodegradation’, Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 157, 1-4, pp 149-161, 2004.

Grazyna P., Grzegorz N., cz-Jawecki, Krzysztof U., Robin L. B. ‘The Application of Bioassays as Indicators of Petroleum-Contaminated Soil Remediation’, Chemosphere, 59, pp 289–296, 2005.

Gong Z., Alef K., Wilke B. M., Li P., ‘Dissolution and Removal of PAHs From a Contaminated Soil Using Sunflower Oil’, Chemosphere, 58, pp 291–298, 2005

Sarkar D., Ferguson M., Datta R., Birnbaum S., ‘Bioremediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Contaminated Soils: Comparison of Biosolids Addition, Carbon Supplementation, and Monitored Natural Attenuation’, Environmental Pollution, 136, pp 187-195, 2005.

Schaefer M., Juliane F., ‘The Influence of Earthworms and Organic Additives on the Biodegradation of Oil Contaminated Soil’, Applied Soil Ecology, 36, pp 53-62, 2007.

Zhang, Z.; Zhou, Q.; Peng, S.; Cai, Z., Remediation of petroleum contaminated soils by joint action of Pharbitis nil L. and its microbial community. Science of The Total Environment,. 408, 22, pp 5600-5605, 2010.

Supaphol S., Panichsakpatana S., Trakulnaleamsai S., Tungkananuruk N., Roughjanajirapa P., O'Donnell A.G., The selection of mixed microbial inocula in environmental biotechnology: Example using petroleum contaminated tropical soils. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 65, 3, pp 432-441, 2006.

: Pao-Wen Grace Liu, Tsung C. Chang, Liang-Ming Whang, Chun-Hsuan Kao, Po-Tseng Pan, Sheng-Shung Cheng, Bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soil: Effects of strategies and microbial community shift. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 65(8): pp 1119-1127, 2011.

Yap, C.L., S. Gan, and H.K. Ng, Application of vegetable oils in the treatment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons-contaminated soils. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 177, 1–3, pp 28-41, 2010.

Qixing Z., Fuhong S., Rui L. ‘Joint Chemical Flushing of Soils Contaminated with Petroleum Hydrocarbons’, Environment International, 31, pp 835 – 839, 2000.

Wenjun Z., and Lizhong Z., ‘Efficiency of Surfactant-Enhanced Desorption for Contaminated Soils Depending on the Component Characteristics of Soil-Surfactante PAHs System’, Environmental Pollution, 147, pp 66-73, 2007.

Roberto F., Georgina B., Vanessa D. ‘Soil Remediation by an Advanced Oxidative Method Assisted with Ultrasonic Energy’, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 140, pp 399–402, 2007.

Kong S., Watts R. J., and Choi J., ‘Treatment of Petroleum-Contaminated Soils Using Iron Mineral Catalyzed Hydrogen Peroxide’ Chemosphere, 37(8) pp 1473-1482, 1998.

Schifano V., MacLeod C., Hadlow N., Dudeney R. ‘Evaluation of Quicklime Mixing for the Remediation of Petroleum Contaminated Soils', Journal of Hazardous Materials, 141, pp 395–409, 2007.

Goi A., Trapido M., Kulik N., Palmroth M. R. T., Tuhkanen T. ‘Ozonation and Fenton Treatment for Remediation of Diesel Fuel Contaminated Soil’, Ozone: Science & Engineering, 28(1), pp 37 – 46, 2006.

Mark M. O. M., Alan D.W. D., Jeremy D. B., Ian S. ‘The Use of Ozone in the Remediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soil’, Chemosphere, 63(3), pp 07–314, 2006.

Aurora S., Cristina D., Fi´uza A., ‘Use of Solvent Extraction to Remediate Soils Contaminated with Hydrocarbons’, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 124, pp 224–229, 2005.

Zhou, Q., F. Sun, and R. Liu, Joint chemical flushing of soils contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons. Environment International, 3( 6), pp 835-839, 2005.

LaGrega M.D., Phillip L.B., Jeffery C.E., Environmental Resource Management; Hazardous Waste Management: Second Edition, McGraw Hill, New York, 677-722, 2001.

FRTR, Remediation Technologies Screening Matrix and Reference Guide’ version 4.0: Ex situ Soil Remediation Technology. . F.R.T. Roundtable, Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable, 2006.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ‘A Citizen Guide to Thermal Desorption, pp 1-2, 2007.

Yong, R. N., ‘contaminated Soils: Pollutant Fate and Mitigation’, Geo-environmental Engineering, United States of America, Florida Editorial: CRC Press, 2000.

Harrington, J.B.a.R., C. Technical requirements for on-site low temperature thermal treatment of nonhazardous soils contaminated with petroleum/coal tar/gas plant wastes Contam Soils, 2, pp 513-529, 1997.

George C.E. Jun I., Fan J. ‘Application of Microwave Heating Tehniques to the Detoxification of Contaminated soils’, Environ. Qual., 19(3) pp 573-579, 1990.

Lee J., K., Park D., Kim B., Dong J., Lee S., ‘Remediation of Petroleum-Contaminated Soils by Fluidized Thermal Desorption’, Waste Management, 18, pp 503-507, 1998.

Merino, J. and V. Bucalá, Effect of temperature on the release of hexadecane from soil by thermal treatment. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 143(1-2), pp 455-461, 2007.

Reeve, D.J.J., Remediation of petroleum-contaminated soils by fluidized thermal desorption. Fuel and Energy Abstracts,. 40(5) pp 356, 1999.

Peng, S., et al., Phytoremediation of petroleum contaminated soils by Mirabilis Jalapa L. in a greenhouse plot experiment. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 168(2-3), pp 1490-1496 2009.

Mang Lu, Zhongzhi Zhang, Wei Qiao, Xiaofang Wei, Yueming Guan, Qingxia Ma, Yingchun Guan, Remediation of petroleum-contaminated soil after composting by sequential treatment with Fenton-like oxidation and biodegradation. Bioresource Technology, 101(7), pp 2106-2113, 2010.

Gong, X.B., Remediation of weathered petroleum oil-contaminated soil using a combination of biostimulation and modified Fenton oxidation. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 70, 2012, pp89-95.

John P. ‘Fundamentals of Site remediation: For Metals and Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils’, Government Institutes, Maryland, pp 53-305, 2000.

LaGrega M.D., Phillip L.B., Jeffery C.E., Environmental Resource Management; Hazardous Waste Management: Second Edition, McGraw Hill, New York, 677-722, 2001.

Chien, Y.C., Field study of in situ remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soil on site using microwave energy. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 199-200, pp 457-461, 2012.

Li Dawei, Zhang Yaobin, Quan Xie, Zhao Yazhi, Microwave thermal remediation of crude oil contaminated soil enhanced by carbon fiber. Journal of Environmental Sciences, 21(9), pp1290-1295, 2009.

Robinson J.P., Kingman S.W., Lester E.H. and YiI C., Microwave remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils – Scale-up using batch reactors. Separation and Purification Technology, 96, pp 12-19, 20102.

Abramovltch R., A., Bangzhou H., Dorota A. Abramovitch D., A., and Jiangao S., ‘In Situ Decomposition of PAHs in Soil and Desorption of Organic Solvents Using Microwave energy’, Chemosphere, 39(1), pp81-87, 1999.

EA, UK Soil and Herbage Pollutant Survey’, : Introduction and Summary, Environmental Agency, 2007.

Lee J., K., Park D., Kim B., Dong J., Lee S., , Remediation of Petroleum-Contaminated Soils by Fluidized Thermal Desorption. Waste Management,. 18, pp 503-507, 1998.

Mediero M.M.J., ‘Microwave Treatment of Contaminated Soils’, Dissertation Thesis, The University of Nottingham, 2007.




How to Cite

Chidi, O. P., Salome, F. T., Oguarabau, B., Elizabeth, E. J., & Romanus, N. E. (2014). Remediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils by Microwave Continuous Irradiation. Asian Journal of Engineering and Technology, 2(1). Retrieved from