Hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria isolation and surfactant influence on the growth of organisms: A case study in Ibadan, Nigeria

  • Oladapo T. Okareh
  • Stephen A. Adebowale
  • Samuel A. Oyewole
Keywords: Hydrocarbons, surfactants, biodegradation, pollutants, microoganisms


Hydrocarbons are substantially insoluble in water, often remaining partitioned in the non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL). However, there had been little or no attempts to advance the bioavailability of hydrocarbons through the use of surfactants. This study was conducted based on the need to isolate hydrocarbon degrading bacteria and to establish the effect of surfactants on the growth of organisms. Ten organisms were isolated and classified into five genera based on their physiological, morphological and biochemical characteristics. These genera include Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Micrococcus, Flavobacterium and Corynebacterium. In determining the effect of surfactant on isolated organisms, Bacillus strain and Corynebacterium strains were enhanced by palmitic acid. Detergent was found to have stimulatory effect on Bacillus and Pseudomonas. There is a significant difference between separate applications of palmitic acid and detergent on the samples with respect to the growth of Micrococcus sp. (p < 0.01). There was also a significant difference between the applications of detergent and control on the selected samples with respect to Flavobacterium sp. (p < 0.001). Surfactant which stimulated bacterial growth is highly recommended in bioremediation, although the use of improved strains may be preferable.

Keywords: Hydrocarbons, surfactants, biodegradation, pollutants, microoganisms


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eISSN: 1684-5315