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Microbiology Journal
  Year: 2011 | Volume: 1 | Issue: 4 | Page No.: 139-148
DOI: 10.3923/mj.2011.139.148
Preliminary Study on Biodegradation of Nigerian Natural Bitumen
O.M. Olabemiwo, G.O. Adediran, F.A. Adekola, O.O. Adelowo and A.A. Olajire

One of the major problems facing the existence of man in this millennium is pollution. Thus, it is no surprise that much attention is given to pollution control and remediation of polluted environment. While remediation can be achieved by physicochemical and biological methods, application of the latter tends to be gaining upper hand due to some of its inherent advantages. This study investigated the biodegradability of bitumen from Agbabu, Southwestern Nigeria by hydrocarbon utilizing strains of Pseudomonas putrefaciens, Pseudomonas nigrificans, Bacillus licheniformis, Pseudomonas fragi and Achromobacter aerogenes. The organisms were used to inoculate Mineral Salts Medium (MSM) supplemented with 0.2 g L-1 solution of Agbabu bitumen in dichloromethane. Cultures were inoculated at different temperature and pH (27°C/pH 3.5; 27°C/pH 5.6; 30°C/pH 7.0 and 40°C/pH 7.0) for two weeks. The quantity of bitumen degraded by each organism was determined gravimetrically at the end of first and second week. The rate of degradation was calculated for each organism and residual bitumen analyzed by infrared-Spectroscopy. In the first week of incubation, Achromobacter aerogenes exhibited the highest rate of degradation (1.750±0.027 mg h-1) at 30°C and pH 7 while Bacillus licheniformis showed the least degradation rate (0.300±0.018 mg h-1) at 40°C and pH 7. Structural indices such as aromaticity, sulphonation, aliphaticity and oxidation calculated from the infrared spectra of recovered bitumen from the inoculated samples were different from that of the control. This thus, confirms the degradation capability of the bacteria used in this work on the Agbabu bitumen and hence their potentials for use in bioremediation of bitumen-polluted environments.
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How to cite this article:

O.M. Olabemiwo, G.O. Adediran, F.A. Adekola, O.O. Adelowo and A.A. Olajire, 2011. Preliminary Study on Biodegradation of Nigerian Natural Bitumen. Microbiology Journal, 1: 139-148.

DOI: 10.3923/mj.2011.139.148






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