Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A Hope For Oil Spill Bioremediation

Date:
May 17, 2005
Source:
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Summary:
A recently published article in Environmental Microbiology reveals that indigenous microbiota of the Galician shore is readily able to degrade crude oil. Scientists from the Estación Experimental del Zaidín (Spanish Council for Research, CSIC) in Granada investigated in situ crude oil degradation after the Prestige oil spill in November 2002.

A recently published article in Environmental Microbiology reveals that indigenous microbiota of the Galician shore is readily able to degrade crude oil. Scientists from the Estación Experimental del Zaidín (Spanish Council for Research, CSIC) in Granada investigated in situ crude oil degradation after the Prestige oil spill in November 2002.

After a spill, hydrocarbons are subjected to physicochemical processes such as evaporation or photochemical oxidation which produce changes in oil composition. But the most important process acting on the spilled oil is biodegradation. It is well established that most crude oils are biodegradable to a great extent, especially components as short linear alkanes or simple aromatic hydrocarbons. However, the heavy fraction, made of long-chain saturated and polyaromatic hydrocarbons and a considerable fraction of asphaltenes and resins, is generally recalcitrant to degradation.

The team's goal was to assess the response of the natural bacterial population after the spill and to detect evidences of crude oil degradation taking place at the contaminated sites. They used stable isotopes (13C/12C) to determine the origin of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in control and contaminated coastal marine water samples. Due to its biological origin, crude oil is very depleted in 13C. Therefore, its biodegradation product CO2 will also be more 13C depleted as compared with the typical marine DIC and atmospheric dissolved CO2.

The sampling area is an energetic system poor in organic mater. Consequently, the anomalous DIC isotopic composition of certain samples taken along the shore of a contaminated island in the Cíes archipelago showed degradation of a depleted 13C source such as the Prestige crude oil, pointing out to a natural population oxidizing this carbon source into CO2. This could be reproduced in the laboratory using water samples taken from the contaminated shore, although the process required nitrogen and phosphorus amendment, these two elements being limited in marine ecosystems. The results confirmed the presence of a microbiota readily able to degrade the contaminant.

Further analysis of specific organisms present in contaminated beaches revealed the presence of several populations able to degrade polycyclic aromatic compounds such as phenanthrene or naphthalene, especially in those sites that had recently been restored after an important contamination episode. Authors concluded that, probably due to the contamination record of the past in that coast, indigenous populations had evolved to select for organisms able to grow and degrade components of crude oil.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "A Hope For Oil Spill Bioremediation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050517063708.htm>.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. (2005, May 17). A Hope For Oil Spill Bioremediation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050517063708.htm
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "A Hope For Oil Spill Bioremediation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050517063708.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins