Factors Of Biodegradation

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Factors and limitations: The biodegradation of petroleum wastes depends on a multiple factors and limitations that includes physical and chemical factors. Firstly, one of the most important physical factors that plays an important role in biodegradation is the temperature as the temperature is very vital for the activity of the biodegradable microorganism at the oceans as well as affecting the composition of the petroleum hydrocarbons. It is important to note that as the temperature decreases, the rate of the hydrocarbon degradation also decreases thus making the process of removal of petroleum wastes very difficult. For example, it was discovered that as the temperature decreases, the viscosity of petroleum increases thus delaying the process…show more content…
Secondly, the presence of essential nutrients in the oceans as phosphorus, nitrogen is also considered a very important limiting factor. During oil spillage in oceans, the concentrations of carbon significantly increases thus the presence of phosphorus and nitrogen is very important for the biodegradation of the hydrocarbons. For example, in seawater, the concentrations of both nitrogen and phosphorus are very low which requires the addition of these nutrients to facilitate the biodegradation process. However, a very high concentrations of nutrients can lead to negative effects because it may hinder the biodegradation process. Thirdly, the microorganism consortium is considered an important factor .Microorganism consortium can be defined as a mixture of microorganism that are capable of hydrocarbon degradation by producing enzymes that are capable of breaking down these hydrocarbon chains. Some bacteria produce enzymes that can breakdown any type of hydrocarbons while other bacteria can only breakdown a specific type of bacteria. An example of these biodegradable enzymes is the cytochrome P450 which is produced mainly by fungi specifically the candida species. The presence of these enzymes is considered a rate limiting factor for hydrocarbon…show more content…
Bioremediation technology depends on the use of microorganisms to remove the hydrocarbon wastes. Bioremediation is classified into 2 major groups: biostumilation and bioaugumentation. Biostumilation depends on changing the environmental factors such as temperature, PH, aeration or addition of nutrients to maintain suitable environments to help the bacteria existing at the contaminated site in the biodegradation process. On the other hand, bio-augmentation is defined as the introduction of new strains of bacteria that are genetically modified, isolated and selected to promote the biodegradation of the hydrocarbons because the already existing microorganisms at the contaminated sites are incapable of biodegradation process .For example, the USA uses mixed cultures of pseudomonas, clostridium, and bacillus and gram negative bacteria to aid in the biodegradation of oil spills. (Godleads Omokhagbor Adams, 2015). The USA.EPA had published a list that contains 15 types of bio-remediating agents. One of the most important bio-remediating agent that has been used in Prince William Sound oil spillage in Alaska is the Inipol EAP22 which is a nutrient additive and consists of 2-butoxy-1-ethanol as a surfactant, sodium laureth phosphate as a source of phosphorus and urea as a source of nitrogen. Inipol EAP22 is considered an ideal solution for treatment of oil

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