Next Article in Journal
First Cobalt(II) Spin Crossover Compound with N4S2-Donorset
Next Article in Special Issue
Enhanced Degradation of Naproxen by Immobilization of Bacillus thuringiensis B1(2015b) on Loofah Sponge
Previous Article in Journal
Biological and Chemical Diversity of Marine Sponge-Derived Microorganisms over the Last Two Decades from 1998 to 2017
Previous Article in Special Issue
Current Approaches to and Future Perspectives on Methomyl Degradation in Contaminated Soil/Water Environments
Open AccessFeature PaperReview

Microbial Degradation of Hydrocarbons—Basic Principles for Bioremediation: A Review

1
Institute of Chemical Technology and Engineering, Poznan University of Technology, Berdychowo 4, 60-965 Poznan, Poland
2
Department IFA-Tulln, Institute of Environmental Biotechnology, BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Konrad-Lorenz-Straße 20, 3430 Tulln, Austria
3
Department of Environmental Biotechnology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research—UFZ, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Molecules 2020, 25(4), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25040856
Received: 24 January 2020 / Revised: 12 February 2020 / Accepted: 13 February 2020 / Published: 14 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradation of Conventional and Emerging Pollutants)
Crude oil-derived hydrocarbons constitute the largest group of environmental pollutants worldwide. The number of reports concerning their toxicity and emphasizing the ultimate need to remove them from marine and soil environments confirms the unceasing interest of scientists in this field. Among the various techniques used for clean-up actions, bioremediation seems to be the most acceptable and economically justified. Analysis of recent reports regarding unsuccessful bioremediation attempts indicates that there is a need to highlight the fundamental aspects of hydrocarbon microbiology in a clear and concise manner. Therefore, in this review, we would like to elucidate some crucial, but often overlooked, factors. First, the formation of crude oil and abundance of naturally occurring hydrocarbons is presented and compared with bacterial ability to not only survive but also to utilize such compounds as an attractive energy source. Then, the significance of nutrient limitation on biomass growth is underlined on the example of a specially designed experiment and discussed in context of bioremediation efficiency. Next, the formation of aerobic and anaerobic conditions, as well as the role of surfactants for maintaining appropriate C:N:P ratio during initial stages of biodegradation is explained. Finally, a summary of recent scientific reports focused on the removal of hydrocarbon contaminants using bioaugmentation, biostimulation and introduction of surfactants, as well as biosurfactants, is presented. This review was designed to be a comprehensive source of knowledge regarding the unique aspects of hydrocarbon microbiology that may be useful for planning future biodegradation experiments. In addition, it is a starting point for wider debate regarding the limitations and possible improvements of currently employed bioremediation strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioaugmentation; biodegradation; biofilm; biosurfactants; biostimulation; crude oil; hydrocarbons; marine and terrestrial contamination; nutrient limitation; PAHs; surfactants bioaugmentation; biodegradation; biofilm; biosurfactants; biostimulation; crude oil; hydrocarbons; marine and terrestrial contamination; nutrient limitation; PAHs; surfactants
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Ławniczak, Ł.; Woźniak-Karczewska, M.; Loibner, A.P.; Heipieper, H.J.; Chrzanowski, Ł. Microbial Degradation of Hydrocarbons—Basic Principles for Bioremediation: A Review. Molecules 2020, 25, 856.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop