Utilization of Airlift Fermenters in the Mass Propagation of Pseudomonas and AureobasidiumSpecies for the Bioremediation of Crude Oil Polluted Aquatic Environments
This study involved the design and fabrication of airlift fermenters for the mass propagation of a consortium of three microorganisms (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas fluorescence and Aureobasidium pullulans). The efficacy of the blend in the bioremediation of simulated crude oil polluted water systems environments was also tested with a view to generating more data on crude oil degrading microorganisms for bioremediation purposes. The organisms were separately grown on a gyratory shaker at 120 rpm and at 30 °C until notable growths were observed. Equal volume of the grown organisms (500 ml) of mixed culture was used as inoculum for the 4.5 L of medium in the 7 L airlift fermenter. Thereafter, this was transferred into the 45 litres medium in the 70 L fermenter until significant growth was observed at room temperature. Culture broths were withdrawn at intervals for the determination of biomass and residual hydrocarbon concentrations. The product from the 70 L fermenter was introduced into simulated polluted water systems from which samples were withdrawn weekly. Analyses for residual hydrocarbon contents were carried out using appropriate analytical techniques. The results showed that 78.5% hydrocarbon removal was observed in the 7 L fermenter after 72 h, while that of the 70 L fermenter was 97.8% after 180 h of fermentation. Polluted water sample treated with the microbes experienced 96.4% removal after 10 weeks of treatment. It was observed further that the application of NPK fertilizer biostimulant aided microbial activities in the removal of petroleum hydrocarbons than urea, cow dung and poultry droppings. The study has demonstrated that effective bioremediation of crude oil polluted water systems could be achieved through the application of biostimulants with mass propagated crude oil degrading organisms using airlift fermenter systems.
Keywords: Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Pseudomonas fluorescence; Aureobasidium pullulans; Airlift fermenter; Bioremediation; Biostimulation; Bioaugmentation.
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