BIODEGRADATION OF CRUDE OIL BY BACTERIAL ISOLATES FROM HYDROCARBON POLLUTED SOIL

AUTHOR: IGWE, INNOCENT CHUKWUDI

DEPARTMENT: APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY AND BREWING

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA

Biodegradation of crude oil was carried out by bacterial isolates from hydrocarbon polluted soil which was collected from four different points in a site close to the storage and distribution centre of crude oil. The bacterial isolates capable of utilizing crude oil in mineral salt medium containing hydrocarbon as the sole carbon and energy source were characterized based on their morphological, cultural and biochemical tests. They include: Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Enterobacter and Arthrobacter species. Crude oil degradation was monitored through optical density and was demonstrated by gravimetric analysis. The results showed that Pseudomonas sp had the highest ability to degrade crude oil,(81.1%), followed by Bacillus sp,(63.6%), then Enterobacter sp,(45.4%) and Arthrobacter sp,(18.1%), which showed the list degradation potential. Results of emulsification test reveals that emulsification facilitates biodegradation, and Pseudomonas aeroginosa showed the highest emulsification. Inference from this study revealed that bioremediation of oil pollution from the environment could be achieved using microorganisms inhabiting hydrocarbon polluted niches and that Pseudomonas aeroginosa should be considered as the first choice bacteria for crude oil bioremediation.

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