Bioremediation with BioAugmentation,

using Custom HC!


Bioremediation is the process of using bacteria, fungi, or other organisms to degrade pollutants and return the environment altered by contaminants to its original condition.   In some cases, the indigenous bacteria are petrophilic (capable of degrading hydrocarbons).   In these applications, nutrients alone are applied to complete bioremediation successfully.   In some cases, the indigenous bacteria population capable of degrading hydrocarbons is non-existent, or is so small that they cannot compete for nutrients, so they cannot grow to populations large enough to degrade the pollutants.   In other cases, the petrophilic organisms are present in the lab test, but they are organisms that degrade hydrocarbons inefficiently.

BioAugmentation is bioremediation with the application of laboratory grown organisms to augment the populations of bacteria that can degrade oil.  Degrade oil with Custom HC.  Custom HC has petrophilic bacteria, scientifically chosen for their ability to effectively degrade hydrocarbons, packaged in extremely high concentrations.  

BioAugmentation with Custom HC will:

        increase total petrophilic bacteria counts

        increase effective petrophilic populations

        decrease cleanup time   (and time is money)

        decrease nutrient costs (compared to bioremediation without Custom HC)

        decrease manpower and equipment costs, because clean up is faster with Custom HC!


There are many variables, or controlling factors, in Bioremediation, including BioAugmentation with Custom HC.    The main factors are Bacteria Populations, Growth Media, and Nutrients.   After reviewing the information below, Please review the Technical Discussion (click here).

Bacteria Populations:

Heterotrophic bacteria utilize an organic compound as its source of carbon.  Petrophilic bacteria utilize a hydrocarbon compound as its source of carbon and energy.   (How do we test the difference - Click-Here).

CustomBio research repeatedly shows the following population averages for bacteria:

                                                Heterotrophic bacteria              Petrophilic bacteria                               Custom HC

    Soil                                           1,000,000 per gram                 less than 1,000 per gram                ADD 10,000 per gram

                                                           1x106 /g                                         < 1x103 /g                                                    + 1x104 /g

    Beach                                       100,000 per gram                    less than 100 per gram                    ADD 1,000 per gram

                                                           1x105 /g                                          < 1x102 /g                                                    + 1x103 /g

    Fresh Water                            1,000,000 per ml                      less than 100 per ml                        ADD 1,000 per ml

                                                           1x106 /ml                                         < 1x102 /ml                                                  + 1x103 /ml

    Ocean Water                           1,000,000 per ml                      less than 100 per ml                        ADD 1,000 per ml

                                                            1x106 /ml                                        < 1x102 /ml                                                  + 1x103 /ml

Custom HC is formulated to add a MINIMUM of 1x104 to soil and a MINIMUM of 1x103 to Beach, Fresh Water and Ocean Water of effective (and very hungry) petrophilic bacteria when applied according to directions.   That is more than TEN times (10X) the average petrophilic bacteria normally found in beach sand, fresh water, or ocean water.

BioTreatability testing is available to determine the indigenous petrophilic bacteria levels.   Examples are available upon request.  Previous testing results show about 20% of soil remediation sites contain sufficient levels of petrophilic bacteria to successfully bioremediate without adding bacteria.   These sites are usually long term contamination sites where the local populations of petrophilic bacteria have had years to grow.  CustomBio has not found a single emergency spill location, in soil, on beach or in water, with sufficient petrophilic bacteria to successfully perform bioremediation.

Bacteria Populations return to normal very rapidly when the pollution levels are reduced  (residual-populations.pdf)

BioAugmentation with Custom HC is more effective than simple Bioremediation.    Ensure Success with Custom HC!

Growth Media:

Bacteria, and other organisms need a media to grow.   In nature, this media is usually soil, or water.    The bacteria grow on the oil-water, or oil-soil interface.   The bacteria will not grow, and will not reproduce, in oil alone.  CustomBio recommends immediate manual cleanup of oil spills, especially large tar balls, in water, or on beaches.  Physical cleanup, including booms and barriers is still the most effective method of cleaning about 95% of an emergency oil spill on soil, or in water.  The remaining volume, about 5%, can very effectively be degraded with BioAugmentation with Custom HC!


Bioremediation takes micro-organisms, but also requires nutrients, the most important being:  Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Phosphate.  Trace elements of other nutrients are also required.

Oxygen:   Biodegradation of hydrocarbons is oxygen dependent.  The initial step of breaking down a hydrocarbon molecule is an aerobic process.   It requires oxygen.   Hydrocarbons are created anaerobically, but not digested anaerobically.   In highly contaminated hydrocarbon contamination locations, oxygen is recommended through chemical, or physical aeration technology.   In the open ocean, oil thins out, floating on the water, creating a very thin ocean/oil/oxygen interface that is EXCELLENT for BioAugmentation with Custom HC.    Oil Sheens are the optimum location for treatment since they are two dimensional, and have both growth media and oxygen.

Nitrogen:  Nitrogen is discussed in the Technical Discussion.   CustomBio recommends many types of nitrogen, and other nutrients.   Optimally, nitrogen levels are tested and maintained throughout bioremediation.  As the nitrogen, and other nutrients are reduced, more is added.  CustomBio recommends multiple application of nutrients until the completion of the project.    If possible, use slow release, slow dissolving nutrients to avoid rapid nutrient dilution in water.

In many cases, Nitrogen can be generated by the bacteria in Custom N2.  Please click here for details of nitrogen fixing bacteria which can be combined with Custom HC, hydrocarbon degrading bacteria.

Phosphate:  Phosphate is discussed in the Technical Discussion.  CustomBio recommends many different forms of phosphate, depending on location, and clean up technology used.   Slow release, rock phosphate, can be applied to beaches to reduce the nutrient dilution associated with tidal washing.   Diammonium phosphate (DAP), can be used, but water soluble commercial fertilizers containing phosphate may be the most effective.

Degrade Oil HomePage

BioAugmentation               Florida DEP Approval

Technical Discussion            Dr. Clarence L Baugh, Ph.D.

Case Study information

Army Base            SuperFund            River            Crude Oil


This page and its contents are copyright 2010-2011, Custom Biologicals, Inc.

Custom HC and CustomBio are Trademarks of Custom Biologicals, Inc.