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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 1999  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 1211 - 1218

Crude Oil Biodegradation by Naturally Inhabiting Mixed Bacterial Culture under Different Environmental Factors

Nagwa M. Ateef, Nagwa M. Morsi and Magdy El-Said Mohamed    

Abstract: The biodegradation of two light crude oils from lad and marine wells at Red Sea area by a bacteria enrichment culture was studied under different environmental factors. Enhanced oil biodegradation was observed with aeration or shaking, mesophilic temperature range and salinity between 3-7 percent. Preferential use of urea as nitrogen source resulted in 4-5 fold increase in oil consumption. Nitrogen/phosphorus molar ratios between 10:1 and 20:1 were optimal for oil degradation. Supplementation with iron stimulated biodegradation with optimal concentration of about 2.5 μ mol. Dramatic decrease in oil consumption was observed in absence of emulsifying agent. lnocula of increased optical densities resulted in increased oil consumption but not at the same magnitude. At optimal conditions, the bacterial culture consumed two thirds of the added oil in one week. Compositional variations with respect to C-, H-, N-, S-, P- contents and C/H ratio of the recovered oil were observed. Four bacterial genera naturally inhabiting the crude oil were isolated and identified as Micrococcus sp., Bacillus sp., Corynebacterium sp. and Pseudomonas sp.

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