Oil-based drill cuttings are hazardous wastes containing complex hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and brine. Their remediation is a crucial step before release to the environment. In this work, we enriched a halophilic consortium, from oil-polluted saline soil, which is capable of degrading diesel as the main pollutant of oil-based drill cuttings. The degradation ability of the consortium was evaluated in microcosms using two different diluting agents (fine sand and biologically active soil). During the bioremediation process, the bacterial community dynamics of the microcosms was surveyed using PCR amplification of a fragment of 16S rRNA gene followed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The diesel degradation rates were monitored by total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) measurement and the total count of heterotrophic and diesel-degrading bacteria. After 3 months, the microcosm containing fine sand and drill cuttings with the ratio of 1:1 (initial TPH of 36,000 mg/kg) showed the highest TPH removal (40%) and its dominant bacterial isolates belonged to the genera Dietzia, Arthrobacter, and Halomonas. DGGE results also confirmed the role of these genera in drill cuttings remediation. DGGE analysis of the bacterial diversity showed that Propionibacterium, Salinimicrobium, Marinobacter, and Dietzia are dominant in active soil microcosm; whereas Bacillus, Salinibacillus, and Marinobacter are abundant in sand microcosm. Our results suggest that the bioaugmentation strategy would be more successful if the diluting agent does not contain a complex microbial community.
3 Biotech – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 27, 2018
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