Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Marine and Freshwater Environments RYAN JENNINGS Introduction Purpose: to review the process and applications of biodegradation Influencing factors (chemical, temperature, nutrients) Methods of biodegradation Chemical Composition Has the most significant effect on biodegradability Four ranks of susceptibility (linear alkanes>branched alkanes>small aromatics>cyclic alkanes) Linear – methane, propane Branched – iso, neopentane Aromatics - benzene Cyclic - cyclopropane Temperature Controls pollutant chemistry and bacterial growth rate Can take place over wide range of temperatures (correlates directly) Most effective in fresh water between 20-30°C Nutrients Nitrogen, phosphorous, and iron play a vital role Especially important in freshwater Overabundance can hinder biodegradation rate (Chaineau) Methods - Bioaugmentation The introduction of cultured microorganisms into an environment in which they are capable of biodegrading and mineralizing contaminants. Used when the contaminated site lacks microbes with the catabolic potential or to supplement the indigenous microbes Enlarges gene pool for more genetic variation and faster reproduction (increased biodegradation rate) Methods - Biostimulation The addition of rate limiting nutrients such as phosphorus, nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon Used when capable microbes are present, but lack nutrients needed to sustain Both bacteria and nutrients introduced through injection wells, slurry walls, or trenches Conclusion Biodegradation of hydrocarbons is a complex process that relies on the nature of the hydrocarbon, and the environment Main problem with this method is the lack of knowledge on proper bacterial strain use References Cooper, C.K., Kvenvolden, K.A., “Natural seepage of crude oil into the marine environment” Geo-Marine Letters, vol. 23, no.3-4, p. 140-146, 2003. Mulkins Phillips, G. J., Stewart, J.E., “Distribution of hydrocarbon utilizing bacteria in Northwestern Atlantic waters and coastal sediments,” Canadian Journal of Microbiology, vol. 20, no.7, p. 955-962, 1974. Adebusoye, S. A., Ilori, M. O., Amund, O. O., Olatope, S. O., Teniola, O. D., “Microbial degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in a polluted tropical stream,” World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 23, no. 8, p. 1149-1159, 2007. Brusseau, M. L., “The impact of physical, chemical, and biological factors on biodegradation,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Biotechnology for Soil Remediation: Scientific Bases and Practical Applications, p.81-98, 1998. Cooney, J. J., “The fate of petroleum pollutants in fresh water ecosystems,” Petroleum Microbiology: New York, Macmillan, 1984 p. 399-434. Atlas, R. M. “Effects of temperature and crude oil composition on petroleum biodegradation,” Journal of Applied Microbiology, vol. 30, no. 3, p. 396-403, 1975. Chaineau, C. H., Oudot, J., Rougeux, G., Yepremian, C., “Effects of nutrient concentration on the biodegradation of crude oil and associated microbial populations in the soil,” Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol. 37, no. 8, p. 1490-1497, 2005. Fritsche, W., Hofrichter, M., “Aerobic degradation by microorganisms,” Environmental Processes-Soil Decontamination: Weinheim, Germany, Wiley-VCH, p. 146-155, 2000. Boon, N., Dejonghe, W., Seghers, D., Top, E. M., Verstraete, W., “Bioaugmentation of soils by increasing microbial richness: missing links,” Environmental Microbiology, vol. 3, no. 10, p. 649-657., 2001. Aldrett, S., Autenrieth, R. L., Bonner, J. S., Mills, M. A., Stephens, F. L., “Microbial degradation of crude oil in marine environments tested in a flask experiment,” Water Research, vol. 31, no. 11, p. 2840-2848, 1997. Margesin, R., Schinner, F., “Low temperature bioremediation of a waste water contaminated with anionic surfactants and fuel oil,” Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 49, no. 4, p. 482-486, 1998. Kalogerakis, N., “Ex-situ Bioremediation of Contaminated Soil,” Soil and Sediment Remediation: London, UK, IWA Publishing, p. 151-175, 2005.