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Process Safety and Environmental Protection
Volume 159, 2022, Pages 362-375

Remediation of petrorefinery wastewater contaminants: A review on physicochemical and bioremediation strategies

Lakhan Kumara,1, Mohita Chugha,2

Department of Biotechnology, Delhi Technological University, Delhi, India 110042.


Wastewater generated at different stages of petrorefinery industry contains various toxic components including polyaromatic hydrocarbons, phenol, heavy metals, ammonia and other several hydrocarbons and non-hydrocarbons. These compounds remain in discharged wastewater as a complex which, when improperly treated and discharged into the environment, contaminates soils, aquifers, and groundwater. Prolonged exposure to such hazardous compounds even in minute amounts results in long term adverse effects on living beings. It gives rises to an array of pulmonary diseases like lung cancer and acute as well as chronic respiratory disorders. It may also lead to neurological toxicity, fatigue, headache and other psychiatric problems like anxiety and depression. The petrorefinery waste water treatment can be achieved by physical, chemical, and biological processes. Petrorefinery wastewater treatment can be done by physicochemical methods which are rapid but cause secondary pollution and are of cost-intensive in nature. Biological methods are comparatively slower, cheaper and environment friendly. In this review, we have studied different treatment technologies for petrorefinery wastewater with an emphasis on bioremediation strategies. Microbial consortia, genetically modified microbes and plants, a combination of plant and microbes, and specific purpose wetlands show promising results for petrorefinery wastewater treatment. An overview of petrorefinery wastewater composition and their harmful effect on environmental and public health and way forward has been presented.

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