Microbiological Status, Physico-chemistry and Plant Performance in Spent Lubricating Oil (SLO) Polluted Soils Amended with Spiked Organic Fertilizer

M. E. Ntekpe

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa, Ibom State, Nigeria.

M. A. Ekpo

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa, Ibom State, Nigeria.

U. U. Ndubuisi-Nnaji

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa, Ibom State, Nigeria.

E. O. Mbong *

Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences, Ritman University, Ikot, Ekpene, Akwa, Ibom State, Nigeria.

D. C. Udoidiong

Department of Microbiology, Heritage Polytechnic, Ikot Udota, Eket Akwa, Ibom State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Soil contaminations by spent lubricating oil (SLO) have been reported to be threatening as it can negatively impact soil macro/micro-flora, destroy the food chains, disrupt biogeochemical cycling of elements, thus reducing soil fertility/productivity, with attendant economic implications. This study evaluated the changes in microbial population and performance of plant in SLO polluted soils amended with different organic fertilizers. The fertilizers were produced from organic waste materials using aerobic composting technique; pollution was simulated in potted soils; soil toxicity were determined using Zea mays L. as test crop; microbial counts and physicochemical properties of the test soils were determined using standard microbiological and chemical protocols respectively. Apart from significant (P˂0.05) decrease in population of total heterotrophic bacteria (THB) and total fungal counts (TFC) (2.6×108 to 6.1×107 cfu/g and 2.3×105 to 1.7×105 cfu/g respectively), and increase in populations of hydrocarbon utilizing bacteria (HUB) and hydrocarbon utilizing fungi (HUF) (7.3×103 to 4.6×104 cfu/g and 8.0×103 to 1.7×104 cfu/g respectively) following contamination of soil with SLO at pollution level., results also revealed increase (improvements) in counts of all microbial groups at the end of remediation treatments. Mean microbial count in soils amended with different levels of fertilizer treatments (5%, 10%, and 15%) reflected a dose-dependent increase as follows: Ft2 ˃ Ft0 ˃ Ft4 for the 5% (3.7×108 cfu/g), 10% (9.2×107 cfu/g) and 15% (6.9×107 cfu/g) respectively. At 5% application, post remediation pH increased following the order: Ft0 ˃ Ft2 ˃ Ft4 (6.00, 5.34, and 4.90 respectively). The test crop, Zea mays L. recorded 100% and 62.5% germination in amended and unamended soils respectively. Leave length and chlorophyll index of Z. mays L. grown on remediated soils ranged between 35.10±0.40 – 52.85±0.05 (at 5% treatments); 32.60±0.10 – 56.55±0.35 (at 10% treatments); and 35.35±0.15 – 42.45±0.25 (at 15% treatments), compared with 30.30±0.80 – 50.55±0.75 (for PS) and 18.05±0.85 – 25.50±0.70 (for unamended CS). All test crops yielded except those grown on unamended soils. Conclusively, application of organic fertilizers to SLO polluted soils increased population of different groups of soil microbes, leading to increased breakdown of the pollutant and reduced soil toxicity.

Keywords: Spent lubricating oil, soil, environment, contaminants, pollution, bioremediation, germination

How to Cite

Ntekpe , M. E., M. A. Ekpo, U. U. Ndubuisi-Nnaji, E. O. Mbong, and D. C. Udoidiong. 2023. “Microbiological Status, Physico-Chemistry and Plant Performance in Spent Lubricating Oil (SLO) Polluted Soils Amended With Spiked Organic Fertilizer”. Asian Journal of Agricultural and Horticultural Research 10 (4):246-60. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajahr/2023/v10i4267.


Download data is not yet available.


Bamiro OA, Osibanjo O. Pilot study of used oil in Nigeria. Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Centre in Nigeria. 2004;1-62.

Echiegu EA, Amadi AS, Ugwuishiwu BO, Nwoke OA. Effet of Spent engine oil contamination on the soil properties in selected automobile mechanic villages in Enugu State, Nigeria. Environmental Quality Management. 2021;31(3):209 – 218.

Odjegba VJ, Sadiq AO. Effects of spent engine oil on the growth parameters, chlorophyll and protein levels of Amaranthus hybridus L. The Environmentalist. 2002;22:23-28.

Mambwe M, Kalebaila KK, Johnson T. Remediation technologies for oil contaminated soil. Glob J Environ Sci Manag. 2021;1:1–20.

He YJ, Zhou KP, Rao YX et al. Environmental risks of antibiotics in soil and bioremediation technology of contaminated soil. J Biol Eng. 2021; 37(10):18.

Zhang L, Zhao Q, Wu WN et al. Current status and prospect of bioremediation technology for petroleum-contaminated soil. Mod Chem Ind. 2018;38(1):5.

Wen GY, Zhao QZ, Ma HG et al. Research and application of high-efficiency and low-cost bioremediation technology for petroleum-contaminated soil. China Saf Prod Sci Technol. 2017;S1:5.

Zheng YM, He XS, Shan GC et al. Effects of petroleum contamination on bacterial communities in field and its feedback mechanisms. Environ Sci Res. 2021; 34(4):987-995.

Dong ZJ. Study of soil contamination law by seepage of an oil pipeline in loess area. Eng Surv. 2020;48(5):6

Pan F, Chen LH, Fa SJ et al. A study on the transport performance of the petroleum contaminants in soil of the Longdong loess plateau. J Environ Sci. 2012;32(2):410–418.

Iyobosa E, Zhu SF, Ning HJ et al. Development of a robust bacterial consortium for petroleum hydrocarbon degradation. Fresenius Environ Bull. 2021;30(3):2356–2367.

Kong LL, Wang XY, Gu MG et al. Analysis of factors influencing enhanced biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons by biochar. Environ Sci Technol. 2021;44(3):8.

Wang JD, Qu CT, Song SF. Temperature-induced changes in the proteome of Pseudomonas aeruginosa during petroleum hydrocarbon degradation. Arch Microbiol. 2021;1:1–11

Kirk JL, Montoglis P, Klironomos J, Lee H, Trevors JT. Toxicity of diesel fuel to germination, growth and colonization of Glomus intraradices in soil and in-vitro transformed carrot root cultures. Plant and Soil. 2005;270:23–30.

Agbogidi OM. Response of six cultivars of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp) to spent engine oil. African Journal of Food Science and Technology. 2010;1(6):139-142.

Adewole MG, Moyinoluwa DA. Effect of crude oil on the emergence and growth of cowpea in two contrasting soil types from Abeokuta south western Nigeria. Asian Journal of Applied Science. 2012;5(4):232-239.

Babak PS. An Introdcution to Bioremediation, In: Fungi as Bioremediators, Editors: Ebrahim Mohammadi Goltapeh, Springer-Verlag Berlin. 2013;3–27.

Haydar S, Masood J. Evaluation of Kitchen Waste Composting and its Comparison with Compost Prepared from Municipal Solid Waste. Pakistan Journal of Engineering and Applied Science. 2011;8:26-33.

George T, Hilary T, Samuel V. Integrated Solid Waste Management: Engineering Principles and Management Issues. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1993.

ISBN 978-0070632370.

Parr JF, Hornick SB, Kaufman DD. Use of Microbial Inoculants and Organic Fertilizers in Agricultural Production. In: Soil – Microbial Systems. Beltville: Laboratory Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Maryland, U.S.A. 2010;1–22.

Ekpo MA, Ntekpe ME. Microbiological and environmental changes during organic fertilizer production from solid wastes. Agricultural Science Research Journal. 2014;4(10):174 – 184.

Hadeel, Alkutubi. On Randomized Complete Block Design. International Journal of Science: Basic and Applied Research (IJSBAR). 2021;53(2):230–243.

Osuji LC, Egbuson EJG, Ojinnaka CM. Chemical reclamation of crude-oil-inundated soils from Niger Delta Nigeria. Chemistry and Ecology. 2005;21(1):1–10.

Akpoveta O, Vincent EF, Medjor OW, Osaro KI, Enyemike ED. Microbial Degradation and its Kinetics on Crude Oil Polluted Soil. Research Journal of Chemical Sciences. 2011;1(6):8 – 14.

Agamathu P, Tan YS, Fanziah SH. Bioremediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soil Using Selected OrganicWastes. Procedia Environmental Sciences. 2013;18:694–702.

Ayotamuno MJ, Kogbara RB, Ogaji SOT, Pobert SD. Bioremediation of Crude Oil Polluted Agricultural Soil in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Applied Energy. 2006;83:1249–1257.

Choron M, Sharifi HS, Motamedi H. Bioremediation of a crude oil-polluted soil by application of fertilizers, Iran Journal of Environmental Health, Science, Engineering. 2010;7(4):319 – 326.

Bouyoucos GJ. A recalibration of hydrometer for testing mechanical analysis of soils. Journal of Agriculture. 1975;43:434–438.

Ntekpe ME. Microbial Degradation of Solid Wastes for the Production of Organic Fertilizers using Cow Dung as Activator. M.Sc. Dissertation in Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria; 2014.

McLean EO. Chemical analysis. In: A. L. Page (ed.) methods of soil analysis, Part 2 (Second Edition), Chemical and Microbiological Properties. New York: ASA – SSSA Agronomy Monograph. 1982;199 – 224.

Walkely AJ, Black IA. Estimation of soil organic carbon by the chronic acid titration method. Soil Science. 1934;37:29-38.

Jackson ML. Soil chemical analysis – advanced course – a manual of methods useful for instruction and research in soil chemistry, physical chemistry of soils, soil fertility, and soil genesis (Revised 2nd Eds.)”, M. L. Jackson; 2nd Eds., 11th Printing eds. ASIN#B003U5PRDW; 1979.

Bowman RA. A rapid method to determine total phosphorus in soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 1988;52:1301-1304.

Udo EJ, Ibia TO, Ogunwale JA, Ano AO, Esu IE. Manual of soil, plant and water analysis. Lagos: Sibon Books Limited, Nigeria. 2009;64 – 81.

AOAC. Official Methods of Analysis. The Association of Official Analytical Chemist. 18th ed. Ghaithersburg: AOAC. Inc, United State of America; 2005.

Nelson DM, Sommers LE. Total carbon, organic carbon and organic matter. In: D. L. Spark (eds.). Methods of soil analysis. Madison: Part Book Series 5, Wisconsin, USA. 1996;961- 1010.

Klute A. Methods of soil analysis. No 9 Part I Physical and Mineralogical Properties. American Society of Agronomy Madison, Wisconsin; 1986.

Cheesbrough M. District Laboratory Practice in Tropical Countries. Part 2, Cambridge Low-Price eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom; 2010.

American Public Health Association. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th ed., Washington D. C. USA. American Works Association, Water Pollution Control Federation; 1998.

Huaug S, Wu Y, Wang QL, Liu JL, Han QY, Wang JF. Estimation of chlorophyll content in pepper leaves using spectral transmittance red-edge parameters. Int. J. Agric and Biol Eng. 2022;15(5):85–90.

Okon OG, Okon IE, Mbong EO, Eneh GDO. Mitigating of Salt induced stress via Arbuscular Mychorrizal Fungi (Rhizophagus irrregularis) inoculation in Cucurbita maxima Duch. International Journal Molecular Biology. 2019;4(1): 30-36.

Mbong EO, Ogbemudia FO, George UU, Okon JE. Modeling growth response of Cucumis sativus L. growing under spent engine oil contamination stress in an Ultisol. International Journal of Applied Research. 2022;8(4):150-154.

Tang J, Lu X, Sun Q, Zhu W. Aging effect of petroleum hydrocarbons in soil under different attenuation conditions. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 2012;149:109–117.

Lang Arica-Fuentes A, Handley PS, Houlden A, Fox G, Robson GD. An investigation of the biodiversity of thermophilic and thermotolerant fungal species in composts using culture-based and molecular techniques. Fungal Ecol. 2014;11:132–144.

Tamames J, Abellán JJ, Pignatelli M, Camacho A, Moya A. Environmental distribution of prokaryotic taxa. BMC Microbiol. 2010;10:85.

Bodelier PLE. Toward understanding, managing, and protecting microbial ecosystems. Front. Microbiol. 2011;2:1–8.

Ijah UJJ, Safiyanu H, Abioye OP. Comparative study of Biodegradation of Crude Oil in Soil Amended with Chicken Droppings and NPK Fertilizer. Science World Journal. 2008;3(2):63–67.

Ekanem JO, Ogunjobi AA. Hydrocarbon Degradation Potential of Bacteria Isolated from Spent Lubricating Oil Contaminated Soil. Journal of Environmental Management. 2017;21(5):973–979.

Ekundayo EO, Emede TO, Osayande DI. Effects of Crude oil spillage on growth and yield of maize (Zea mays L.) in soils of Mid-western Nigeria. Plant Foods Hum. Nutri. 2001;56:313-324.

Bremmer JM. Total Nitrogen. In: D. L. Spark (eds). Methods of Soil Analysis Part 3 – Chemical Methods. Madison, Wisconson: SSSA Book Series 5, USA. 1996;1085 – 1122.

Murdinah I, Rahmi K, Hermanto S. Application of bioactivators to produce organic fertilizer from seaweed processing waste. Journal of Applied and Industrial Biotechnology in Tropical Region. 2008;1: 1-4.