Presentation Title

Evaluating the Bioremediation Capabilities of Bacteria Through Hydrocarbon Degradation

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Abstract

Biodegradation is defined as the process by which organic compounds are broken down into simpler materials such as carbon dioxide, water, and inorganic molecules through the action of microorganisms. Using an engineered approach to biologically detoxify, degrade, or transform organic pollutants to an innocuous state is formally termed bioremediation. Petroleum hydrocarbon released into the environment through natural seepage and spills is estimated to be 600,000 +/- 200,000 metric tons per year, resulting in contamination of land, air, surface and ground waters. The objective of this work was to develop and evaluate analytical tools for characterizing bacterial strains with the ability to metabolize complex hydrocarbon mixtures. Standards of benzene, toluene, 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene, naphthalene, hexadecane, phenanthrene and xylenes were quantified using GC-FID; R2 values for each exceeded 0.993. Mock hydrocarbon mixtures were prepared in a bacterial growth medium, extracted with dichloromethane in triplicate and evaluated according to percent recoveries. Based on this work, bacterial cultures will be established and extracted using the same approach, noting that an internal extraction standard, o-terphenol, will be added at 50 mg/L. The data from this study will be used to select bacteria from hydrocarbon contaminated environments for enrichment and re-inoculation in an effort to improve bioremediation efforts.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Jon Van Hamme

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Evaluating the Bioremediation Capabilities of Bacteria Through Hydrocarbon Degradation

Biodegradation is defined as the process by which organic compounds are broken down into simpler materials such as carbon dioxide, water, and inorganic molecules through the action of microorganisms. Using an engineered approach to biologically detoxify, degrade, or transform organic pollutants to an innocuous state is formally termed bioremediation. Petroleum hydrocarbon released into the environment through natural seepage and spills is estimated to be 600,000 +/- 200,000 metric tons per year, resulting in contamination of land, air, surface and ground waters. The objective of this work was to develop and evaluate analytical tools for characterizing bacterial strains with the ability to metabolize complex hydrocarbon mixtures. Standards of benzene, toluene, 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene, naphthalene, hexadecane, phenanthrene and xylenes were quantified using GC-FID; R2 values for each exceeded 0.993. Mock hydrocarbon mixtures were prepared in a bacterial growth medium, extracted with dichloromethane in triplicate and evaluated according to percent recoveries. Based on this work, bacterial cultures will be established and extracted using the same approach, noting that an internal extraction standard, o-terphenol, will be added at 50 mg/L. The data from this study will be used to select bacteria from hydrocarbon contaminated environments for enrichment and re-inoculation in an effort to improve bioremediation efforts.