, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 287–296 | Cite as

A Model for diffusion controlled bioavailability of crude oil components

  • Farooq A. Uraizee
  • Albert D. Venosa
  • Makram T. Suidan


Crude oil is a complex mixture ofseveral different structural classes of compoundsincluding alkanes, aromatics, heterocyclic polarcompounds, and asphaltenes. The rate and extent ofmicrobial degradation of crude oil depends on theinteraction between the physical and biochemicalproperties of the biodegradable compounds and theirinteractions with the non-biodegradable fraction. Inthis study we have systematically altered theconcentration of non-biodegradable material in thecrude oil and analyzed its impact on transport of thebiodegradable components of crude oil to themicroorganisms. We have also developed a mathematicalmodel that explains and accounts for the dependence ofbiodegradation of crude oil through a putativebioavailability parameter. Experimental resultsindicate that as the asphaltene concentration in oilincreases, the maximum oxygen uptake in respirometersdecreases. The mathematically fitted bioavailabilityparameter of degradable components of oil alsodecreases as the asphaltene concentration increases.

asphaltene bioavailability biodegradation crude oil diffusivity modeling 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farooq A. Uraizee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Albert D. Venosa
    • 1
  • Makram T. Suidan
    • 3
  1. 1.National Risk Management Research LaboratoryU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Oak Ridge Institute for Science and EducationOak RidgeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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