University of Tehran

Isolation and characterization of crude oil degrading bacillus spp.

Crude oil continues to be used as the principal source of energy and play an important role in the global environmental pollutant considerations. On the other hand, oil will remain as a major source of energy in the next several decades, because a reliable alternative energy comsumption has not yet been substituted. (Trindade et al., 2005, Al- Saleh and Obuekwe, 2005). There are so many bacterial strains that can degrade or transform the components of crude oil products to the non-toxic, non hazardous, biodegradable and environmentally friendly compounds. This action is known as a biodegradation.

The biodegradation of crude oil by microorganisms is one of the primary ways for eliminating crude oil from contaminated sites and appears to be the most environmentally friendly method of removal oil pollutant. (Korda et al., 1997; Kapley et al., 1999; Del Arco and De Franca, 2001; Barathi and Vasudevan, 2001). Today use of microorganisms for removing crude oil pollution from contaminated sites as bioremediation was considered by scientists, because other methods such as surfactant washing and incineration lead to production of more toxic compounds and they are non-economic. (Margesin, 2000; Balba et al., 2002; Urum et al., 2003).

A wide range of studies have dealt with biotransformation, biodegradation, and bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons and interest in exploiting crude oil-degrading organisms for environmental clean-up has become central to petroleum microbiology. There are so many of bacterial and fungi with this ability (biodegradation of oil pollution) and these organism are widely distribute in marine, freshwater and soil habitats (head and Swannell, 1999), but scientist reported that indigenous and adapted microorganisms are more efficient for biodegradation of oil pollutant.

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