Phytoremediation of Soil Contaminated with Crude Oil Using Mucuna Bracteata


  • Kuok Ho Daniel Tang Curtin University Malaysia
  • Yu Wei Eric Law Curtin University Malaysia



This study examines the ability of Mucuna bracteata DC. to remediate soil contaminated with increasing levels of crude oil up to 20%. It also investigates the effect of fertilizer application on crude oil degradation. Changes in crude oil concentrations, pH and moisture of the soil in eight experimental pots were tracked over a period of 9 weeks. The crude oil levels in soil were analysed as Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPHs) using the UV-Vis spectrophotometer. The study revealed the capacity of Mucuna bracteata to phytoremediate soil contaminated with crude oil in all experimental pots though the plant died at 20% contamination towards the end of the experiment. The plant survived up to 15% contamination with that in the fertilized pot showing better physical conditions. In all instances, fertilized pots showed higher rates of crude oil reduction. The amounts of crude oil degraded in fertilized pots were also higher except at 20% contamination. The soil pH varied over a narrow range throughout the experimental period. Moisture of soil contaminated with 15% and 20% crude oil was higher than that contaminated with 5% and 10% crude oil. Mucuna bracteata showed signs of phytoextraction which can be subject to further study. This study contributed a new candidate of phytoremediation for soil contaminated with high level of crude oil.


Mucuna bracteata, Rhizodegradation, Contamination, Fertilizer, Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon, Phytoextraction


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How to Cite

Tang, K. H. D., & Law, Y. W. E. (2019). Phytoremediation of Soil Contaminated with Crude Oil Using Mucuna Bracteata. Research in Ecology, 1(1), 20–30.





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