Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Salt-Impacted Soil by Native Halophiles or Halotolerants and Strategies for Enhanced Degradation

EPA Grant Number: R827015C019
Subproject: this is subproject number 019 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R827015
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: IPEC University of Tulsa (TU)
Center Director: Sublette, Kerry L.
Title: Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Salt-Impacted Soil by Native Halophiles or Halotolerants and Strategies for Enhanced Degradation
Investigators: Fathepure, Babu Z.
Institution: Oklahoma State University
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: January 1, 2002 through June 30, 2002 (Extended to November 30, 2002)
RFA: Integrated Petroleum Environmental Consortium (IPEC) (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Targeted Research

Objective:

The dwindling oil prices of the past has led many major oil-producing companies in the United States to scale back their operations. As a result the small firms and individual participants working in the oil patches and gas fields of the oil-producing states are faced with the difficult challenge of managing mature fields left behind by the major oil producers. Yet compared to the major producers, the independent producers are more susceptible to the unpredictable price of oil and gas and the costs of environmental compliance. A reduction in environmental compliance costs will have the greatest impact on the domestic independent producers. Therefore, it is critical that more cost-effective technologies be developed to treat soil and groundwater that have been contaminated with high concentrations of salt and oil at exploration and production (E&P) sites.

Bioremediation processes use bacteria to restore soil and groundwater contaminated with undesirable pollutants. Because of their great metabolic diversity and versatility, microorganisms hold great promise as means to remediating contaminated sites cost-effectively. Bioremediation of oil-brine is particularly challenging since the environment is unforgiving for the survival of externally added bacteria. Therefore, only salt-loving or salt-tolerant microbes are suitable for such hostile environments. Although many halophiles and halotolerants are found in hypersaline environments, little information exists about their ability to degrade petroleum hydrocarbons. Two fundamentally different stategies enable microorganisms to contend with such high osmotic stress. The first mechanism involves the accumulation of high levels of K+ rather than Na+ in the cytoplasm. The second mechanism involves the accumulation of organic compounds called, "osmolytes or compatible solutes". These solutes are accumulated to high intracellular concentrations, in order to balance the osmotic pressure of the surrounding medium and maintain cell turgor for survival. Some of the common intracellular osmoprotectants detected in halophilic/halotolerant bacteria include K+, aspartate, glutamate, proline, glycerol, and glycine betaine.

The primary goal of this work is to demonstrate the biodegradation of simple petroleum hydrocarbons such as benzene and naphthalene under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions (sulfate-reducing) by indigenous populations in oil-brine soils. Also, the study will evaluate strategies for enhancing the growth of halophiles/halotolerants through the addition of known osmoregulant compounds for their ability to degrade petroluem hydrocarbons. Batch microcosms will be prepared with soils obtained from various E&P sites in Oklahoma and other oil-producing states. The microcosms will be amended with radiolabeled benzene or naphthalene and degradation will be monitored by measuring 14CO2. These results are of immense value in cleaning up oil-brine-impacted soil cost effectively.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Waste, Water, TREATMENT/CONTROL, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, National Recommended Water Quality, Contaminated Sediments, Remediation, Treatment Technologies, Chemicals, Chemistry, Contaminant Candidate List, Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, Hazardous Waste, Bioremediation, Biology, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, hazardous waste treatment, waste treatment, degradation, microbial degradation, contaminated sites, decontamination of soil and water, napthalene, biodegradation, Naphthalene, field studies, decontamination of soil, benzene, microbes, PAH, soils, contaminated soil, microflora, anaerobic biodegradation, contaminants in soil, groundwater remediation, soil, bioremediation of soils, in-situ bioremediation, contaminated groundwater, hydrocarbons, water quality, soil microbes

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R827015    IPEC University of Tulsa (TU)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R827015C001 Evaluation of Road Base Material Derived from Tank Bottom Sludges
    R827015C002 Passive Sampling Devices (PSDs) for Bioavailability Screening of Soils Containing Petrochemicals
    R827015C003 Demonstration of a Subsurface Drainage System for the Remediation of Brine-Impacted Soil
    R827015C004 Anaerobic Intrinsic Bioremediation of Whole Gasoline
    R827015C005 Microflora Involved in Phytoremediation of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons
    R827015C006 Microbial Treatment of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)
    R827015C007 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil
    R827015C008 The Use of Nitrate for the Control of Sulfide Formation in Oklahoma Oil Fields
    R827015C009 Surfactant-Enhanced Treatment of Oil-Contaminated Soils and Oil-Based Drill Cuttings
    R827015C010 Novel Materials for Facile Separation of Petroleum Products from Aqueous Mixtures Via Magnetic Filtration
    R827015C011 Development of Relevant Ecological Screening Criteria (RESC) for Petroleum Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Exploration and Production Sites
    R827015C012 Humate-Induced Remediation of Petroleum Contaminated Surface Soils
    R827015C013 New Process for Plugging Abandoned Wells
    R827015C014 Enhancement of Microbial Sulfate Reduction for the Remediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Aquifers - A Laboratory and Field Scale Demonstration
    R827015C015 Locating Oil-Water Interfaces in Process Vessels
    R827015C016 Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay
    R827015C017 Continuation of an Investigation into the Anaerobic Intrinsic Bioremediation of Whole Gasoline
    R827015C018 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil
    R827015C019 Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Salt-Impacted Soil by Native Halophiles or Halotolerants and Strategies for Enhanced Degradation
    R827015C020 Anaerobic Intrinsic Bioremediation of MTBE
    R827015C021 Evaluation of Commercial, Microbial-Based Products to Treat Paraffin Deposition in Tank Bottoms and Oil Production Equipment
    R827015C022 A Continuation: Humate-Induced Remediation of Petroleum Contaminated Surface Soils
    R827015C023 Data for Design of Vapor Recovery Units for Crude Oil Stock Tank Emissions
    R827015C024 Development of an Environmentally Friendly and Economical Process for Plugging Abandoned Wells
    R827015C025 A Continuation of Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay
    R827015C026 Identifying the Signature of the Natural Attenuation of MTBE in Goundwater Using Molecular Methods and "Bug Traps"
    R827015C027 Identifying the Signature of Natural Attenuation in the Microbial Ecology of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Groundwater Using Molecular Methods and "Bug Traps"
    R827015C028 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil: Project Continuation
    R827015C030 Effective Stormwater and Sediment Control During Pipeline Construction Using a New Filter Fence Concept
    R827015C031 Evaluation of Sub-micellar Synthetic Surfactants versus Biosurfactants for Enhanced LNAPL Recovery
    R827015C032 Utilization of the Carbon and Hydrogen Isotopic Composition of Individual Compounds in Refined Hydrocarbon Products To Monitor Their Fate in the Environment
    R830633 Integrated Petroleum Environmental Consortium (IPEC)
    R830633C001 Development of an Environmentally Friendly and Economical Process for Plugging Abandoned Wells (Phase II)
    R830633C002 A Continuation of Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay
    R830633C003 Effective Stormwater and Sediment Control During Pipeline Construction Using a New Filter Fence Concept
    R830633C004 Evaluation of Sub-micellar Synthetic Surfactants versus Biosurfactants for Enhanced LNAPL Recovery
    R830633C005 Utilization of the Carbon and Hydrogen Isotopic Composition of Individual Compounds in Refined Hydrocarbon Products To Monitor Their Fate in the Environment
    R830633C006 Evaluation of Commercial, Microbial-Based Products to Treat Paraffin Deposition in Tank Bottoms and Oil Production Equipment
    R830633C007 Identifying the Signature of the Natural Attenuation in the Microbial Ecology of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Groundwater Using Molecular Methods and “Bug Traps”
    R830633C008 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil: Project Continuation
    R830633C009 Use of Earthworms to Accelerate the Restoration of Oil and Brine Impacted Sites