Assessing the oil degradation potential of endogenous micro-organisms in tropical marine wetland

Burns, K.A., Cody, S., Swannell, R.J.P., and Duke, N.C. (1999) Assessing the oil degradation potential of endogenous micro-organisms in tropical marine wetland. Mangroves and Salt Marshes, 3 (2). pp. 67-83.

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As part of a larger study on the bioremediation of oil spills in tropical mangrove habitats, we conducted a series of flask experiments to test for the presence of hydrocarbon degrading microbes in the habitats and to test the biodegradability of selected oils (Gippsland, Arabian Light and Bunker C), which are transported along the Australian coast. We also tested for potential inhibition by natural organics in the mangrove pore wasters and evaluated an oxygen release compound. Evaporation was a significant factor in removing the light alkane and light aromatic hydrocarbons from air and nitrogen sparged flasks. Evaporation removed 50 % of the Gippsland, 30 % of the Arabian Light and 7 % of the Bunker C oils. Oxygen was necessary to support biodegradation. All three oils tested were "biodegradable" to the limited extent of the saturated hydrocarbon fractions. Degradation removed another 4 to 23 % of the Gippsland, , 32 % of the Arabian Light,, and 36 % of the Bunker C oils. Based on these results, we would expect the Gippsland Ccrude oil to be less persistent than the others oils in mangrove sediment. because It it has a higher content of light hydrocarbons, which are readily removed by both physical and microbial processes. Comparison of the efficiency of inoculates from the three tropical intertidal habitats (Avicennia & Rhyzophora mangroves, plus salt marsh sediments) indicated that hydrocarbon degrading microbes were isolated from all three habitats. There was no inhibition of degradation due to addition ofincubation in mangrove pore waters. The oxygen release compound did not facilitate degradation in the closed flask experiments. These results were then used to formulate an oil bioremediation strategy of forced aeration to be trialed in a field experiment in mangrove habitats in Queensland, Australia.

Item ID: 48911
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1572-977X
Keywords: mangrove; saltmarsh; habitat; Rhizophora; Avicennia; flask experiments; degradation; oil; bioremediation; aeration; ORC; microbes; laboratory; north Queensland; Australia; IWP
Funders: Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Energy Research and Development Corporation
Date Deposited: 11 May 2017 05:49
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060504 Microbial Ecology @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 30%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960609 Sustainability Indicators @ 30%
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