The increased usage of petroleum oils in cold regions has led to widespread oil pollutants in soils. The harsh environmental conditions in cold environments allow the persistence of these oil pollutants in soils for more than 20 years, raising adverse threats to the ecosystem. Microbial bioremediation was proposed and employed as a cost-effective tool to remediate petroleum hydrocarbons present in soils without significantly posing harmful side effects. However, the conventional hydrocarbon bioremediation requires a longer time to achieve the clean-up standard due to various environmental factors in cold regions. Recent biotechnological improvements using biostimulation and/or bioaugmentation strategies are reported and implemented to enhance the hydrocarbon removal efficiency under cold conditions. Thus, this review focuses on the enhanced bioremediation for hydrocarbon-polluted soils in cold regions, highlighting in situ and ex situ approaches and few potential enhancements via the exploitation of molecular and microbial technology in response to the cold condition. The bibliometric analysis of the hydrocarbon bioremediation research in cold regions is also presented.
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