Bioremediation of Crude Oil Contaminated Soils using Surfactants and Hydrocarbonoclastic Bacteria


C. A. Etok, O. D. Akan and A. A. Adegoke (2015). British Microbiology Research Journal 9 (2): 1-6.

A study of the rate of crude oil remediation in soils with the application of surfactants and hydrocarbonoclastic bacterial population was undertaken. Locally sourced particulate surfactants (wood and palm bunch ashes) were compared with synthetic surfactant, Tween 80, and found to be more microbial friendly and efficient in contaminant removal from the soil. The microbial count recorded in biostimulated set up ranged from 2.08 x104 to 1.43 x107 cfu/g for wood ash; 2.08 x104 to 2.22 x107 cfu/g for palm fruit bunch ash while Tween 80 had a range of 2.08 x104 to 3.38 x107 cfu/g.
The bioaugmented set up had microbial counts of 8.00 x103 to 2.50 x108 cfu/g with wood ash treatment; 9.90 x103 to 2.50 x108 cfu/g for palm fruit bunch ash treatment while Tween 80 recorded 1.00 x103 to 2.50 x108. The highest reduction of 94.54% was observed in bioaugmented soil treated with palm fruit bunch ash. While the control sample with indigenous population and no surfactant treatment had 36.32% reduction. Biosurfactant aided the utilization of the crude oil by
hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria in the soil. Therefore, stakeholders in the oil and gas/petroleum energy
sector should encourage the development of cheaper, safe and readily sourced remedial agents.

Prof. Comfort Etok

Professor Comfort Etok is a Professor of Microbiology from University of Uyo. Her area of specialization is Industrial/Food Biology. She has obtained her BSc, MSc. and Ph.D in Microbiology from University of Calabar..

She has been a recipient of several awards, one of which was the Professor Nduka Okafor’s prize for Best Graduating Student in Microbiology. She has served and is still serving in various committees in the University, State and National frontier. She has supervised and is still supervising intelligent undergraduate and postgraduate researches in Microbiology. One of such research worthy of note is “Fermentation And Amino Acid Profile Of Maize Pomace And Rice Husk And Their Dietary Effects On Broilers Chicken”.

She holds Membership in several Professional Bodies like American Society for Microbiolgy, Nigerian Society for Microbiology etc. She has published highly rated Journal Articles, Book Chapters etc. One of such publication shaking her field is “Bdellevibrio and Like Organisms: The much Anticipated “Magic Bullet”.” published by World News of National Science.
Visit her personal knowledgebase at to more about this great scholar.

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