This report describes a simple pretreatment to enhance olefin-based pseudo-oil-based mud biodegradation under bottom of the sea conditions. The suggested treatment involves the oxidation of cuttings with diluted nitric acid prior to liquid-solid separation, sea-water neutralization of the mud, and biodegradation. Saturated hydrocarbons such as polyalphaolefins contained in cuttings were not degraded under the proposed reaction conditions. Comparison of oxidized and untreated olefms-impregnated cuttings clearly demonstrates that oxidized cuttings biodegrade more rapidly than untreated ones. Furthermore, we demonstrate that oxidized cuttings allowed for an enhanced evolvement of carbon dioxide as compared to unsoiled sediments. In addition it was shown that olefins have an inhibitory effect upon the sediment mineralization -and that overal CO2 evolvement is significantly lower with untreated cuttings soiled sediments as compared to the unsoiled sediments.

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