Important Invention of ITU Academicians against Petroleum Contamination

12 Jan 2023

ITU Department of Environmental Engineering faculty member Prof. Dr. Orhan İnce made an important invention against petroleum contamination together with the members of the Microbial Ecology Group under his leadership.

News: İTÜ Media and Communication Office

Istanbul Technical University (ITU) continues to carry out important studies in order to produce permanent solutions to global challenges in 2023, which it has declared as the year of sustainability. ITU Department of Environmental Engineering faculty member and Head of Microbial Ecology Group (MEG) Prof. Dr. Orhan İnce, together with MEG members Prof. Dr. Bahar İnce, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sevcan Aydın and Dr. Aiyoub Shahi, have achieved a great success by patenting an invention titled “An Economic Method for Biological Remediation of Petroleum Contaminated Soils”. 

An economic invention for remediation of petroleum contaminated soils

Petroleum residues cannot be decomposed in nature due to their structure. Various organic compounds that differ in their molecular weights, structural configurations, solubility, number of aromatic chains, volatility, retention coefficients, etc. are called petroleum wastes.

The invention, which enables biological remediation (bioremediation) of petroleum contaminated soils, is important for an effective fight against environmental pollution. The invention also enables rapid determination for bioremediation control with an effective genetic method developed using biomarkers.

The invention provides a solution to soil contamination caused by petroleum and petroleum-derived wastes by using two different fungi species, Bjerkandera adusta and Trametes versicolor. Bioaugmentation method is utilized to remediate the soil.

The effect of the fungi species used for the invention on the alkB, phnAc and nah functional genes (biomarkers) found in the native microbial community in the soil was determined. An effective genetic method has been developed that allows rapid determination for bioremediation control of soil with biomarkers. 

A sustainable and clean environment

Contamination of soil with petroleum wastes is one of the main problems that occupy an important place on the world agenda and on which research is being conducted. Environmental disasters due to oil spills from pipelines, tankers and drilling platforms are still fresh in the memories. It is important for a sustainable civilization to remediate and control petroleum contaminated soils with economical biological methods.

We congratulate our faculty member and his team.

Identification of the Patent:

Patent Subject: An Economic Method for Biological Remediation of Petroleum Contaminated Soils

Application No: 2019/07304

PCT No: PCT/TR2017/050087

Patent Acceptance Date: 03.01.2023