The Potentiality of Free Gram-negative Bacteria for Removing Oil and Grease from Contaminated Industrial Effluents

  • Ebtesam El-BestawyEmail author
  • Mohamed H. El-Masry
  • Nawal E. El-Adl


Eight bacterial species were isolated from vegetable oil and grease-contaminated industrial wastewater, only four of which were found to have the ability to degrade oil and grease in the contaminated wastewater. These isolates were identified according to morphological and biochemical profiles as, Pseudomonas sp. (L1), P. diminuta (L2), P. pseudoalcaligenes (L3), and Escherichia sp. (L5). The degradative capabilities of the identified bacterial isolates for Tween 20 (Tw20) were investigated under different pH levels (6.5, 7, 7.5, and 8), different temperatures (30 and 37 °C) and different concentrations of Tw20 (1, 1.5, and 2%). Results revealed differences in their optimum conditions for maximum degradation of vegetable oil. Bacterial isolates were tested individually or in combinations using synthetic aqueous medium supplemented with 1% palm oil, incubated at 30 °C, and agitated at 150 rev/min for 13 days. All the tested bacteria were able to degrade the palm oil completely and utilized the free fatty acids (FFA) as a carbon source. The combination M1 (Pseudomonas sp. and P. diminuta) produced the highest degradative activity, followed by M3 (Pseudomonas sp., P. diminuta and P. pseudoalcaligenes). Also M1 produced the highest activity in reducing COD (93%) and BOD5 (100%).


Biodegradation biological treatment contaminated wastewater Gram-negative bacteria grease and oil 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Broughton, M.J., Thiele, J.H., Birch, E.J., Cohem, A. 1998Anaerobic batch digestion of sheep tallowWater Research3214231428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cammarota, M.C., Annajr, G.L.S. 1998Metabolic blocking of exopolysaccharides synthesis effects on microbial adhesion and biofilm accumulationBiotechnology Letters2014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Campere, A.K., Hayes, J.T., Sturman, P.J., Jones, W.L., Cunninghan, A.B. 1993Effect of motility and absorption rate coefficient on transport of bacteria through saturated porous mediaApplied and Environmental Microbiology5934553462Google Scholar
  4. Chamorro, S., Samchez-montero, J.M., Allcantara, A.R., Sinisterra, J.V. 1998Treatment of Candida rugosa lipase with short-chain polorganic solvents enhances its hydrolytic and synthetic activitiesBiotechnology Letters20499505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clesceri, L.S., Greenberg, C.G., Eaton, A.D. 1999Standard Method for the Examination of Water and Wastewater20American Public Health Association (APHA)USAISBN 0-87553-235-7.Google Scholar
  6. EL-Gohary, F.A., Aboelella, S.I., Ali, H.I. 1987Management of wastewater from soap and food industries: a case studyScience of the Total Environment6203212Google Scholar
  7. Fiestas, J.A. 1984Directrices acutuales en la depuracion de aguas residuales de cartacter organicoQuim. Industry30431438Google Scholar
  8. Gilbert, E.J., Drozd, J.W., Jones, C.W. 1991Physiological regulation and optimization of lipase activity in Pseudomonas aeruginosa EF2Journal of General Microbiology13722152221Google Scholar
  9. Glazer, A.N., Nikaido, H. 1995Microbial Biotechnology: Fundamentals of Applied MicrobiologyUniversity of California, Berkley W.H. Fremanand CompanyUSAISBN 0-71672-608-4.Google Scholar
  10. Gonzales, M.D., Moreno, E., Quevedo-Samiento, J., Ramos-Cormenzama, A. 1990Studies on antibacterial activity of wastewaters from olive oil mills (alpechin): inhibitory activity of phenolic and fatty acidsChemosphere20423432Google Scholar
  11. Huang, F.C., Ju, Y. 1995Hydrolysis of palm kernal oil in Aot-Isooctane-water reversed micellesApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology50323331Google Scholar
  12. Jaeger, K.E., Ransac, S., Dijkstra, B.W., Caloson, C., Heuvel, M., Missit, O. 1994Bacterial lipasesFEMS Microbiology Reviews152963CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Martine, A.M. 1991Bioconversion of Waste Material to Industrial ProductsKluwer Academic PublishersNetherlands576ISBN 0-75140-423-3.Google Scholar
  14. Martirani, L., Giardina, P., Marzullo, L., Sannia, G. 1996Reduction of phenol content and toxicity in olive oil mill wastewater with the linolytic fungus Pleurotus ostreatusWater Research3019141918CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Odegaar, H., Ruster, B., Westrum, T. 1998A new moving bed biofilm reactor-application and resultsWater Science and Technology19157165Google Scholar
  16. Paguot, C., Hautfenne, A. 1987Standard Methods for the Analysis of Oils, Fat and Derivatives7Blackwell Scientific PublicationsOxford, UKISBN 0-63201-586-1.Google Scholar
  17. Paparaskevas, D., Christakopoulas, P., Kekos, D., Macris, J.B. 1992Optimization production of extracellular lipase from Rhodotorula glutinisBiotechnology Letters14397402Google Scholar
  18. Raj, S.A., Murthy, D.V.S. 1999Synthetic dairy wastewater treatment using cross flow medium trickling filterJournal of Environmental Science and HealthA34357369Google Scholar
  19. Reed, B.E., Carriere, P., Wei, L., Roark, G., Viadero, R. 1998Oily wastewater treatment by ultrafiltrationHazardous, Toxic and Radioactive Waste Managment2100107Google Scholar
  20. Samkutty, P.J., Gough, R.H., MaGrew, P. 1996Biological treatment of dairy product plant wastesJournal of Environmental Science and HealthA3121432153Google Scholar
  21. Shabtai, Y. 1991Isolation and characterization of a lipolytic bacterium capable of growing in a low-water content oil water-emulsionApplied and Environmental Microbiology5717401745Google Scholar
  22. Shabtai, Y., Daya-Mishre, N. 1992Production, purification and properties of lipase from a bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa YS-7, capable of growing in water restricted environmentApplied and Environmental Microbiology58174180Google Scholar
  23. San, J.E., Pompei, R., Rescigno, A., Rimaldi, A., Ballero, M. 1991Olive milling wastewater as a medium for growth Pleurotus speciesApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology31223234Google Scholar
  24. Sigurgisledottir, S., Sonraodottir, M., Jonsson, A., Kristjarsson, J.K., Mattheasson, E. 1993Lipase activity of thermophilic bacteria from Icelandic hot springBiotechnology Letters5361366Google Scholar
  25. Sneath, P.H.A., Mair, N.S., Sharpe, M.E. 1986Bergey’s Manuual of Systematic BacteriologyWilliams and WilkinsLondonISBN 0-68307-893-3.Google Scholar
  26. Staley, J.T., Bryant, M.P., Pfennig, N., Holt, J.G. 1989Bergey’s Manuual of Systematic BacteriologyWilliams and WilkinsLondonISBN 0-68307-908-5.Google Scholar
  27. Stams, A.G., Oude, E.S.J. 1997Understanding and advancing wastewater treatmentCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology8328334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stztajer, H., Maliszewska, I. 1988The effect of culture conditions on lipolytic productivity of microorganismsBiotechnology Letters10199204Google Scholar
  29. Tsonis, S.P. 1993 Olive oil mill wastewater abatement by anaerobic digestion followed by total evaporation. Proceeding of the International Conference on Environmental Pollution, Sitges (Barcelona), Vol. 2. European Center for Pollution Research, UK.Google Scholar
  30. Tuter, M., Arat, F., Dandik, L., Aysse, A.H. 1998Solvent- free glycerolysis of sun flower oil and chovy oil catalysed by α-1,3 specific lipaseBiotechnology Letters3291294Google Scholar
  31. Valenzuela, G. 1986Thermal concentration of vegetation waterProceeding of the International Symposium on Olive By-products Polarization (FAO)Sevilla, SpainGoogle Scholar
  32. Wang, Y.J., Shue, J.Y., Wang, F.F., Shaw, J.F. 1988Lipase-catalysed hydrolysis in the absence of added emulsifierBiotechnology and Bioengineering31628633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Williams, S.T., Sharpe, M.E., Holt, J.G. 1989Bergey’s Manuual of Systematic BacteriologyWilliams and WilkinsLondonISBN 0-68309-061-5.Google Scholar
  34. Woolley, P., Petersen, S.B. 1994Lipases: Their Structure, Biochemistry and ApplicationCambridge University PressUKISBN 0-52144-546-9.Google Scholar
  35. Yamane, T. 1989Enzyme technology for the lipid industry. An engineering overviewJournal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society6416571662Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ebtesam El-Bestawy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohamed H. El-Masry
    • 2
  • Nawal E. El-Adl
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Studies, Institute of Graduate Studies and ResearchAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, Institute of Graduate Studies and ResearchAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt
  3. 3.Quality Control LaboratoryExtracted Oils and Derivatives CompanyAlexandria

Personalised recommendations