This study aims to monitor the biological processes ongoing in a hydrocarbon polluted soil. The experiments were carried out at a laboratory scale by measuring the evolution of its geophysical electromagnetic parameters. Time-domain reflectometry (TDR) probes were used to measure dielectric permittivity and electrical conductivity in columns of sandy soil artificially contaminated with diesel oil (Voil/Vtot = 0.19). To provide aerobic conditions suitable for the growth of microorganisms, they were hydrated with Mineral Salt Medium for Bacteria. One mesocosm was aerated by injecting air from the bottom of the column, while the other had only natural aeration due to diffusion of air through the soil itself. The monitoring lasted 105 days. Geophysical measurements were supported by microbiological, gas chromatographic analyses, and scanning electron microscope (SEM) images. Air injection heavily influenced the TDR monitoring, probably due to the generation of air bubbles around the probe that interfered with the probe–soil coupling. Therefore, the measurement accuracy of geophysical properties was dramatically reduced in the aerated system, although biological analyses showed that aeration strongly supports microbial activity. In the non-aerated system, a slight (2%) linear decrease of dielectric permittivity was observed over time. Meanwhile, the electrical conductivity initially decreased, then increased from day 20 to day 45, then decreased again by about 30%. We compared these results with other researches in recent literature to explain the complex biological phenomena that can induce variations in electrical parameters in a contaminated soil matrix, from salt depletion to pore clogging.
|Titolo:||Time-Domain Reflectometry (TDR) monitoring at a lab scale of aerobic biological processes in a soil contaminated by diesel oil|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.3390/app9245487|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|