Author(s): Olivera NL, Commendatore MG, Delgado O, Esteves JL
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Abstract Shipping operations produce oily wastes that must be managed properly to avoid environmental pollution. The aim of this study was to characterize microorganisms occurring in ship bilge wastes placed in open lagoons and, particularly, to assess their potential to degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A first-order kinetic was suitable for describing hydrocarbon biodegradation after 17 days of treatment. The calculated rate constants were 0.0668 and 0.0513 day(-1) with a corresponding half-life of 10.3 and 13.5 days for the aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbon fractions, respectively. At day 17, PAH removal percentages were: acenaphtylene 100, fluorene 95.2, phenanthrene 93.6, anthracene 70.3, and pyrene 71.5. Methyl phenanthrene removals were lower than that of their parent compound (3-methyl phenanthrene 83.6, 2-methyl phenanthrene 80.8, 1-methyl phenanthrene 77.3, 9-methyl phenanthrene 75.1, and 2,7-dimethyl phenanthrene 76.6). Neither pure cultures nor the microbial community from these wastes showed extracellular biosurfactant production suggesting that the addition of an exogenously produced biosurfactant may be important in enhancing hydrocarbon bioavailability and biodegradation. DNA analysis of bilge waste samples revealed a ubiquitous distribution of the nahAc genotype in the dump pools. Although almost all of the isolates grew on naphthalene as sole carbon source, only some of them yielded nahAc amplification under the experimental conditions used. The variety of PAHs in bilge wastes could support bacteria with multiple degradation pathways and a diversity of catabolic genes divergent from the classical nah-like type.
This article was published in J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation