Paraffinic oils were submitted to microbial action. The microorganisms consisted of bacteria of the genera Pseudomonas sp. and Bacillus lincheniforms. The alterations in interfacial tension were determined using a tensometer and applying the hanging drop technique at room temperature (299 K ±275 K). The alteration in the constitution of the paraffins was evaluated by means of gas chromatography. The microbial activity was observed to reduce interfacial tension by 54 to 78%, as well as consuming the paraffins C19 to C29 and producing paraffins C36 to C44. The LIFirr technique made it possible to determine the microbial action quickly.
Environmental pollution is a global problem and best possible solution is identifying and utilizing native microorganisms. One possible application of microbial product -biosurfactant is in bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminated sites. We have screened forty two different petroleum contaminated sites from Oman, for biosurfactant producing spore-forming bacterial isolates. Initial screening showed that out of 42 soil samples, three showed reduction in surface tension (ST) and interfacial tension (IFT) within 24h of incubation at 40°C. Out of those 3 soil samples, one was further selected for isolation of bacteria and 14 different bacteria were isolated in pure form. Of those 14 spore-forming, rod shaped bacteria, two showed highest reduction in ST and IFT in the range of 70mN/m to <35mN/m and 26.69mN/m to <9mN/m, respectively within 24h. These bacterial biosurfactants may be utilized for bioremediation of oil-spills.
Crude oil is a major source of global energy. The major problem is its widespread use and demand resulted is in increasing environmental pollution. One associated pollution problem is ‘oil spills’. Oil spills can be remediated with the use of chemical dispersants, microbial biodegradation and microbial metabolites such as biosurfactants. Four different minimal salt media for biosurfactant production by Bacillus isolated from oil contaminated sites from Oman were screened. These minimal salt media were supplemented with either glucose or sucrose as a carbon source. Among the isolates, W16 and B30 produced the most active biosurfactants. Isolate W16 produced better biosurfactant than the rest, and reduced surface tension (ST) and interfacial tension (IFT) to 25.26mN/m and 2.29mN/m respectively within 48h which are characteristics for removal of oil in contaminated sites. Biosurfactant was produced in bulk and extracted using acid precipitation method. Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) of acid precipitate biosurfactant revealed two concentrated bands. Further studies of W16 biosurfactant in bioremediation of oil spills are recommended.