Effect of salinity on petroleum biodegradation
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The biodegradation of Ashtart crude oil by a mixed bacterial community (EH1) isolated from a marine sediment was investigated in varying concentration of sodium chloride (0 to 2 mol/l). Each fraction of Ashtart crude oil was biodegraded after a 30 day incubation period for a NaCl concentration equivalent to the one of seawater (0.4 mol/l). Saturates were more readily degraded than aromatics. The amount of oil degraded increased initially with increasing salt concentrations to a maximum level for 0.4 mol/l NaCl concentration. Thereafter the amount of oil degraded decreased with increasing salt concentrations. The polar fraction increased for the 0.4 to 1.4 mol/l NaCl concentration range. Asphaltenes were only slightly degraded (10%) for a NaCl concentration equivalent to the one of seawater (0.4 mol/l). NaCl concentrations seemed to affect the relative biodegradation of pristane and phytane. GC, UV fluorescence and FTIR techniques were used to study the evolution of each fraction of Ashtart crude oil.
KeywordsChloride Sodium Chloride Biodegradation Bacterial Community Incubation Period
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