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Understanding the behaviour of oil-degrading micro-organisms to enhance the microbial remediation of spilled petroleum

Understanding the behaviour of oil-degrading micro-organisms to enhance the microbial remediation of spilled petroleum

Macaulay, B.M. (2015) Understanding the behaviour of oil-degrading micro-organisms to enhance the microbial remediation of spilled petroleum. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research, 13 (1). pp. 247-262. ISSN 1589-1623 (Print), 1785-0037 (Online) (doi:10.15666/aeer/1301_247262)

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Abstract

Petroleum-contamination of both terrestrial and marine environments have persisted as a result of the increasing demand on liquid petroleum globally which has led to the need to clean up spilled petroleum using eco-friendly methods. Of all the petroleum-cleaning techniques explored, the use of petroleum-degrading microbes has received most attention. The microbial remediation of spilled petroleum has been proved to be cost-effective, eco-friendly and sustainable. However, these microbes have been found to thrive under certain environmental/nutritional conditions which influence their behaviour towards spilled petroleum. This study aims to identify the factors responsible for the change in behaviour of oil-degrading microbes which might help facilitate better petroleum spill management. Some of these factors include: the physical nature of the spilled petroleum; chemical nature of the spilled petroleum; availability of nutrients; water temperature; concentration of oxygen; soil region/soil particle size; competition from other micro-organisms. Petroleum-degrading microbes were also found to degrade specific hydrocarbon components in liquid petroleum due to the specific metabolic pathway utilized by individual microbes. This makes the use of a microbial consortium a more aggressive option for the microbial degradation of spilled petroleum than the use of microbial isolates. However, more research on the factors influencing theabundance and productivity of oil-degrading anaerobes may need to be carried out. Also, how oil-degrading microbes can be aided to break down asphalthenes should be investigated. © 2015, ALÖKI Kft., Budapest, Hungary.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: microbial remediation, biodegradation, oil-degrading microbes, spilled petroleum, oil spillclean-up
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2015 11:33
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/13327

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