March 5, 2009
Chicken manure can biodegrade crude oil
Chinese scientists say they've discovered chicken manure can be used to biodegrade crude oil in contaminated soil.
Bello Yakubu, Huiwen Ma and ChuYu Zhang of Wuhan University said they determined bacteria contained in the manure breaks down 50 percent more crude oil than in soil lacking the manure.
Ma and colleagues suggest animal waste, and in particular chicken manure, might provide the necessary chemical and microbial initiators to trigger biodegradation of crude oil. One important factor, they said, is that chicken manure raises the pH of soil to the range 6.3 to 7.4, which is optimal for the growth of known oil-utilizing bacteria.
The research is reported in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution.