Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management

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Hydrocarbon degradation potentials of bacteria isolated from spent lubricating oil contaminated soil

J.O. Ekanem, A.A. Ogunjobi


This study investigates the hydrocarbon degradation potentials of some bacteria isolated from spent lubrication oil on contaminated soil. Cleaning up petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites has been a major challenge. This has led to the exploration of many approaches to affect the cleanup of the polluted soils. A total of sixteen hydrocarbon degrading bacteria species were isolated from spent lubricating oil contaminated soil. The predominant species belonged to the genera Pseudomonas and Enterobacter. Three strains namely Nocardia sp., Pseudomonas sp and Bacillus sp showed the highest potential for hydrocarbon utilization. Their ability to degrade both the aliphatic (n-alkanes) and Polyaromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) components of the spent lubricating oil in MSM was investigated after 21days of biodegradation studies using gas chromatographic (GC) techniques. Over 98% of the n-alkane and PAHs fraction of the spent lubricating oil supplied at 1.0%vv-1 concentration were degraded by the three strains. Nocardia sp showed the highest percentage of degradation of about 99%. This study has shown that resident bacteria strains in lubricating oil contaminated soils have potential application in the bioremediation of oil polluted sites and enhance the possibility of developing models and strategies for removing hydrocarbon pollutants from the environment.

Keywords: Biodegradation, hydrocarbon, spent lubricating oil, gas chromatography
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