Comparative Study on Bioremediation for Oil Spills Using Microbes

Raghav Singh, Rita Singh Majumdar



This research work was designed to compare and evaluate the capacity of microbes in bioremediating and biodegrading of hydrocarbons which are the major constituents of petroleum oil. An oil spill is a leakage from ocean-going tankers, pipelines or other oil sources. Bioremediation for oil spills is a technique that uses microbes to eliminate contamination of hydrocarbons from water and soil, thereby making them safe for aquatic and terrestrial species. Bioremediation can be used by bacterial species, fungal species (by a process called mycoremediation) and plant species (by a process called phytoremediation). Two different species—bacterial species (Pseudomonas putida) and fungal species (Penicillium chrysogenum)—were checked individually in the laboratory condition, in order to determine and test for their capabilities in bioremediation process in oil spills. The total aerobic bacterial and fungal counts and cfu result were carried out after first and second weeks of inoculation, and was found to be significant. Solvent extraction method was primarily used to determine the percentage of oil degraded. P. chrysogenum degraded 11.1% of the oil in two weeks and P. putida degraded 6.425% after two weeks; this shows P. chrysogenum was found to degrade oil better than P. putida. Gas chromatographic (GC-MS) analysis of the residual oil extracted from bacterial, fungal as well as the control set up showed marked variations in peaks representing individual hydrocarbon components being degraded and transformed. Higher degradation was obtained with P. chrysogenum having lower peaks as compared to the bacterial and the control set up. This further confirmed the result obtained earlier with the solvent extraction method. There are three methods to clean up oil spills— physical, chemical and biological (bioremediation); but bioremediation is advantageous as it is time and cost saving than physical metho. Also unlike chemical method, no foreign or toxic chemicals are added to the site.

Keywords: oil spills, hydrocarbons, bioremediation, Pseudomonas putida, Penicillium chrysogenum

Cite this Article

Singh R, Majumdar RS. Comparative Study on Bioremediation for Oil Spills Using Microbes. Research & Reviews: A Journal of Bioinformatics. 2017; 4(1): 16–24p.



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