Salt-Tolerant Hydrocarbon-Degrading Microbial Consortium for Rapid Bioremediation in Soils Co-Contaminated with Petroleum Hydrocarbons and Salts
This study shows that UltraZyme® exhibits a significant tolerance to salts up to concentrations of 10% when degradable organics are readily available in the dissolved phase. When UltraZyme® is exposed to non-aqueous phase hydrocarbons, UltraZyme®’s salt tolerance decreases to 2.5%. However, 2.5% NaCl is still within or greater than the common ranges of salt concentrations encountered in hydrocarbon and salt-contaminated soils.
For cases of high-salinity petroleum-contaminated soils and groundwater, we successfully isolated hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria adapted to 10% (w/v) NaCl. Our bioremediation experiment indicated that UltraZyme® exhibited a strong capability to degrade semi-volatile F2 hydrocarbons (>C10-C16). These hydrocarbons are a common environmental concern and must be remediated in soil environments.
This study additionally provides a tool for assessing and tracking hydrocarbon-degrading microbial genes for natural and engineered environmental systems. It also makes recommendations concerning the potential use of UltraZyme® as a remedial agent for soil. This study also suggests future work required for extending and optimizing the uses of UltraZyme® prior to implementation, maximizing success, and minimizing the potential risks.