MICROBIAL DEGRADATION OF CRUDE-PETROLEUM-OIL: FACTORS AND STRATEGIES AFFECTING THE BIOREMEDIATION PROCESSRAJANBIR KAUR, ARPNA KUMARI AND RAJINDER KAUR
Cleaning up of petroleum and petroleum based products from the soil and marine environments is a real world problem. Bioremediation techniques are considered as the ultimate solution to the oil spill problems due to leakage from pipelines or storage tanks. Use of various microbes to degrade, detoxify and utilize the petroleum hydrocarbons is an effective, versatile and environmental friendly method. In this study, we found that microbes are capable of degrading and utilizing the petroleum hydrocarbons at the contaminated site and the there are various physico-chemical factors that influence the process of bioremediation. By reviewing the literature, we found that the native microbial populations of the oil contaminated sites were found more efficient in biodegradation than the seeding cultures. The hydrocarbon biodegradation depends upon many factors including microbial count, hydrocarbon toxicity, pH, temperature, aeration and moisture conditions and the availability of nutrients in the environment. The two main strategies used in the bioremediation process are bioaugmentation and biostimulation which helps in onsite and off-site clean-up processes.
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