Rhamnolipids enhance marine oil spill bioremediation in laboratory system

Qingguo Chen, Mutai Bao, Xiaoning Fan, Shengkang Liang, Peiyan Sun
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2013 June 15, 71 (1-2): 269-75
This paper presents a simulated marine oil spill bioremediation experiment using a bacterial consortium amended with rhamnolipids. The role of rhamnolipids in enhancing hydrocarbon biodegradation was evaluated via GC-FID and GC-MS analysis. Rhamnolipids enhanced total oil biodegradation efficiency by 5.63%, with variation in normal alkanes, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and biomakers biodegradation. The hydrocarbons biodegradation by bacteria consortium overall follows a decreasing order of PAHs>n-alkanes>biomarkers, while in different order of PAHs>biomarkers>n-alkanes when rhamnolipids was used, and the improvement in the removal efficiency by rhamnolipids follows another order of biomarkers>n-alkanes>PAHs. Rhamnolipids played a negative role in degradation of those hydrocarbons with relatively volatile property, such as n-alkanes with short chains, PAHs and sesquiterpenes with simple structure. As to the long chain normal alkanes and PAHs and biomakers with complex structure, the biosurfactant played a positive role in these hydrocarbons biodegradation.

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