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Changes in iso- and n-alkane distribution during biodegradation of crude oil under nitrate and sulphate reducing conditions

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
23908 43482 2012 9 PDF Available
Title
Changes in iso- and n-alkane distribution during biodegradation of crude oil under nitrate and sulphate reducing conditions
Abstract

Crude oil consists of a large number of hydrocarbons with different susceptibility to microbial degradation. The influence of hydrocarbon structure and molecular weight on hydrocarbon biodegradation under anaerobic conditions is not fully explored. In this study oxygen, nitrate and sulphate served as terminal electron acceptors (TEAs) for the microbial degradation of a paraffin-rich crude oil in a freshly contaminated soil. During 185 days of incubation, alkanes from n-C11 to n-C39, three n- to iso-alkane ratios commonly used as weathering indicators and the unresolved complex mixture (UCM) were quantified and statistically analyzed.The use of different TEAs for hydrocarbon degradation resulted in dissimilar degradative patterns for n- and iso-alkanes. While n-alkane biodegradation followed well-established patterns under aerobic conditions, lower molecular weight alkanes were found to be more recalcitrant than mid- to high-molecular weight alkanes under nitrate-reducing conditions. Biodegradation with sulphate as the TEA was most pronounced for long-chain (n-C32 to n-C39) alkanes. The observation of increasing ratios of n-C17 to pristane and of n-C18 to phytane provides first evidence of the preferential degradation of branched over normal alkanes under sulphate reducing conditions.The formation of distinctly different n- and iso-alkane biodegradation fingerprints under different electron accepting conditions may be used to assess the occurrence of specific degradation processes at a contaminated site. The use of n- to iso-alkane ratios for this purpose may require adjustment if applied for anaerobic sites.

► Biodegradation of crude oil with different terminal electron acceptors (TEAs). ► Development of distinct hydrocarbon fingerprints for each TEA. ► Preferential degradation of branched over linear alkanes with sulphate as TEA. ► Different interpretation of fingerprints for aerobic and anaerobic sites required.

Keywords
Anaerobic biodegradation; Bioremediation; Long chain n-alkanes; Iso-alkanes; Crude oil; Hydrocarbon fingerprint; Terminal electron acceptors
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Changes in iso- and n-alkane distribution during biodegradation of crude oil under nitrate and sulphate reducing conditions
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Journal of Biotechnology - Volume 157, Issue 4, 20 February 2012, Pages 490–498
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
100% Money Back Guarantee
Full-text PDF Download
Online Support
Any Questions? feel free to contact us