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196 Archaea Bioremediate Wastes from Petroleum

Oppenheimer Biotechnology Inc.

Austin, Texas

Trinidad and Tobago

Tank Bottoms and Sugar Cane Waste

Composting and Land Farming

April 20. 1998


This is a proposal to offer a process that will effectively bioremediate  the combined wastes from petroleum tank sludge and the residues from sugar refining, to augment agricultural lands and that will enhance agriculture. The wastes will originate from Amoco Trinidad and Caroni industry. The application technology and microorganism for effective bioremediation are supplied by Oppenheimer Biotechnology, Inc of Austin, Texas.

The process of bioremediation of the two pollutants and subsequent land farming will produce a more productive soil and remove the two waste sources. Cost matching will be achieved by a lower fertilizer requirement and a better crop.


The normal aerobic biodegradation of petroleum wastes generates a mixture of fatty acids, intermediate metabolites, carbon dioxide and water. The fatty acids and metabolites, in addition to acting as soil conditioners, can coat soil particles enhancing the texture of the soil, increase oxygen transport into the soil, increase water retention by reducing capillary activity, and will provide an energy and carbon source for other soil organisms. The microorganisms in TerraZyme used for the bioremediation have been shown to promote plant activity by their ability to transform soil materials to nutrient ions easily absorbed by the roots, a rhyzosphere enhancement.

The by products from sugarcane processing are a dark liquid and powder containing residual organic matter from the cane and nutrient minerals concentrated during the refining and purification process.

The bioremediation end product will differ for the two materials.

The oily waste from tank bottoms and other sources will be treated with the product TerraZyme. This product will transfer, physically, the oily material to a semi-dry powder that can be readily removed. It will also have the ability to reduce oil vapors. A second process is available for the future, where more dense sludge is high pressure treated with a mixture of TerraZyme and a biodegradable detergent in sea or fresh water. This will produce an emulsion that can be pumped. This is used to inoculate the sludge. These microorganisms will initiate bioremediation.

No chemical analysis other than texture will be made on the oily material but it will be tested for biocompatability by a simple laboratory test in Austin, Texas.

The waste from the sugar mill will be in the form of a liquid residue and a dry powder. These will be tested for nutrients, metal elements, and for biocompatability. To enhance bioremediation and to reduce odors, they can be initially treated with TerraZyme during storage. However this is not necessary if the following procedure is carried out.

The nutrient mineral data will be used to formulate the dilution and proportion of the two wastes to be used for land farming that will provide a balanced nutrient composition. Past experience indicates that nitrogen will be required to balance the other nutrient elements.

On completion of an evaluation of the mineral balance including nutrients, a plan for land farming has been developed. A mixture of the two wastes will be added, along with microorganisms and supplemental fertilizer, to agricultural soil and be plowed in place.

At this time, planting can be started.  As the materials are not toxic, planting can be initiated immediately. Initial topping with water and rain events will initiate the bioremediation.  An optimal soil water content of 5% is best for the bioremediation process. However water content down to 1% can initiate bioremediation, but the process will be slower.

The microbes will provide nutrient exchange from the soil to the roots. The balanced minerals will increase the fertility of the soil. The organic material from the hydrocarbons and sugar wastes will reduce evaporation, reduce nutrient erosion, and enhance soil aeration

Technical details for application

These details have been precisely worked out and should not be changed or results cannot be guaranteed.

  1. Mix together,

200 cubic yards of Amoco tanker bottoms

200 cubic yards of Caroni sludge from pit one. Should contain both filter press material and ash.

300 lbs of TerraZyme

250 lbs of ammonium sulfate

  1. Add to one acre surface. Calculate for approximately 3 inch deep on surface.
  2. Deep plow and then discharge.
  3. You can top with urea, but the ammonium sulfate is soluble. The surface can be topped with water.

I hope that this is clear. Please direct any questions to me.


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