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Journal of Automated Methods and Management in Chemistry
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 34601, 7 pages
Research Article

Studies on the Effects of Certain Soil Properties on the Biodegradation of Oils Determined by the Manometric Respirometric Method

1North Ostrobothnia Regional Environment Centre, Oulu 90101, Finland
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Oulu, Oulu 90014, Finland
3Department of Chemistry, University of Oulu, Oulu 90014, Finland

Received 20 June 2007; Accepted 1 August 2007

Copyright © 2007 Juhani Kaakinen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The biodegradability of certain biofuels was studied in the case of forest soils using the manometric respirometric technique, which was proved to be very suitable for untreated, fertilized as well as pH adjusted soils. Experiments carried out in infertile sandy forest soil gave a BOD/ThOD value of 45.1% for a typical model substance, that is, sodium benzoate after a period of 30 days and mineral addition improved the BOD/ThOD value to a value of 76.2%. Rapeseed oil-based chain oil almost did not biodegrade at all in 30 days in nonprocessed soil, and when pH was adjusted to 8.0, the BOD/ThOD value increased slightly to a value of 7.4%. Mineral addition improved the BOD/ThOD value on average to 43.2% after 30 days. The combined mineral addition and pH adjustment together increased the BOD/ThOD value to 75.8% in 30 days. The observations were similar with a rapeseed oil-based lubricating oil: after 30 days, the BOD/ThOD value increased from 5.9% to an average value of 51.9%, when the pH and mineral concentrations of the soil were optimized. The mineral addition and pH adjustment also improved the precision of the measurements significantly.