Bacillus circulans as biosurfactant-producer during crude oil degradation
Petroleum and its byproducts are one group of universal environmental pollutants. Microorganisms have over time played significant roles in the clean-up exercise of unwanted substances in the environment. This research was aimed at studying the degradative potentials of biosurfactantproducing bacterial isolates (Bacillus sp.) from palm oil mill effluent (POME) in crude oil degradation. Standard microbiological and analytical methods were applied to ascertain biosurfactant production and degradation of crude oil by Bacillus sp. isolated from palm oil mill effluent discharged points and logging area of effluent bunk at Nigerian Institute for Oil-Palm Research (NIFOR) in Edo State. The bacteria were isolated and subjected to screening for hydrocarbon degradation and biosurfactant production. Biosurfactants characterization by Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) technique. total viable heterotrophic bacterial count of POME and Bonny light crude oil ranged from 6.6 x106 – 8.2 x106 cfu/ml and 4.2 x106 – 5.8 x106 cfu/ml respectively. Bacillus sp. that had the highest biodegradative potential and biosurfactant production was identified molecularly as Bacillus circulans. It could be used as bio-stimulants to ameliorate crude oil polluted areas as an efficient and cost- effective technology.