Special Issue "Degradation of Marine Oil Pollution"

A special issue of Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (ISSN 2077-1312). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Oceanography".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 April 2022) | Viewed by 12032

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Hernando P. Bacosa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, TX, USA
Interests: marine oil spills; oil pollution; biodegradation; oil-degrading bacteria; metagenomics; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; petroleum chemistry and fingerprinting; microbial ecology; bacteria and phytoplankton interactions
Prof. Dr. Chihiro Inoue
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Interests: environmental biology; environmental science and technology; geoenvironmental remediation
Dr. Puspa L. Adhikari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL, USA
Interests: petroleum geochemistry and chemical fingerprinting; marine chemistry; environmental chemistry; organic geochemistry; sediment biogeochemistry; radiochemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Marine ecosystems have been contaminated by oil spills via numerous natural seeps and intentional or accidental oil spills. Crude oil is one of the most reduced forms of carbon (i.e., hydrocarbons). It contains biologically stored energy, and is chemically reactive and unstable. Thus, the spilled oil can go through a series of oxidation reactions, and these reactions release the stored energy, leading the hydrocarbons towards more stable forms of carbon (i.e., CO2). This process is called oil degradation or weathering, and includes several photo-, chemical-, and biological oil degradations. These oil degradation processes generally help to convert oil hydrocarbons into less harmful forms, and ultimately determine the transport and fates of oil and oil residues in the marine environment. Thus, it is critical to understand various oil degradation processes and their role in removing oil residues from marine environments. Despite great efforts devoted to understanding the transport and fates of marine oil spills, we still do not have a good understanding of oil weathering after marine oil spills, and several issues are still open.

This Special Issue is dedicated to the Degradation of Marine Oil Pollution, and will consider publications including original scientific contributions that aim to deepen our understanding of: various oil weathering processes in marine environments, the roles of each type of oil weathering process in the transport and fate of oil residues; and microbial populations associated with oil biodegradation.

Dr. Hernando P. Bacosa
Prof. Chihiro Inoue
Dr. Puspa L. Adhikari
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • marine oil spills
  • fate and effects of spills
  • oil weathering
  • oil residues
  • biodegradation of oil in marine environments
  • photo-degradation of oil in marine environments
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • degradation of PAHs in marine environments
  • aerobic vs. anaerobic degradation of PAHs
  • analytical techniques for weathered oil residues
  • oil-degrading bacteria

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Sublethal Effects of Crude Oil and Chemical Dispersants on Multiple Life History Stages of the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(10), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8100808 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 839
Abstract
The eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica is an ecologically and economically important species that is vulnerable to oil pollution. We assessed sublethal effects of soluble fractions of crude oil alone (WAF) and crude oil in combination with Corexit 9500 dispersant (CEWAF) on oysters at [...] Read more.
The eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica is an ecologically and economically important species that is vulnerable to oil pollution. We assessed sublethal effects of soluble fractions of crude oil alone (WAF) and crude oil in combination with Corexit 9500 dispersant (CEWAF) on oysters at three life history stages. Veliger swimming, pediveliger settlement, and adult clearance rates were quantified after 24 h exposures to the contaminants. Veliger swimming speeds were not significantly impacted by 24 h exposures to WAF or CEWAF. A larger proportion of veligers were inactive following WAF and CEWAF exposure as compared to the control, but the effect was greater for pediveligers, and pediveliger settlement in the highest concentration CEWAF treatment decreased by 50% compared to controls. Thus, pediveligers may be particularly vulnerable to oil exposure. In the adults, we found significant clearance rates reductions that persisted 33 days after acute exposure to CEWAF. Knowledge of sublethal effects of oil and dispersant at multiple life history stages aids understanding of how this important species will respond to an oil spill. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degradation of Marine Oil Pollution)
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Article
Marine Snow Aggregates are Enriched in Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Oil Contaminated Waters: Insights from a Mesocosm Study
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(10), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8100781 - 07 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1385
Abstract
Marine snow was implicated in the transport of oil to the seafloor during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but the exact processes remain controversial. In this study, we investigated the concentrations and distributions of the 16 USEPA priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in [...] Read more.
Marine snow was implicated in the transport of oil to the seafloor during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but the exact processes remain controversial. In this study, we investigated the concentrations and distributions of the 16 USEPA priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in marine snow aggregates collected during a mesocosm experiment. Seawater only, oil in a water accommodated fraction (WAF), and Corexit-enhanced WAF (DCEWAF) were incubated for 16 d. Both WAF and DCEWAF aggregates were enriched in heavy molecular weight PAHs but depleted in naphthalene. DCEWAF aggregates had 2.6 times more total 16 PAHs than the WAF (20.5 vs. 7.8 µg/g). Aggregates in the WAF and DCEWAF incorporated 4.4% and 19.3%, respectively of the total PAHs in the mesocosm tanks. Our results revealed that marine snow sorbed and scavenged heavy molecular weight PAHs in the water column and the application of Corexit enhanced the incorporation of PAHs into the sinking aggregates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degradation of Marine Oil Pollution)
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Article
Potential of Biosurfactants’ Production on Degrading Heavy Oil by Bacterial Consortia Obtained from Tsunami-Induced Oil-Spilled Beach Areas in Miyagi, Japan
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(8), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8080577 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1305
Abstract
Bioremediation is one of the promising environment-friendly approaches to eliminate oil contamination. However, heavy oil is known to degrade slowly due to its hydrophobicity. Therefore, microorganisms capable of producing biosurfactants are gaining substantial interest because of their potential to alter hydrocarbon properties and [...] Read more.
Bioremediation is one of the promising environment-friendly approaches to eliminate oil contamination. However, heavy oil is known to degrade slowly due to its hydrophobicity. Therefore, microorganisms capable of producing biosurfactants are gaining substantial interest because of their potential to alter hydrocarbon properties and thereby speed up the degradation process. In this study, six bacterial consortia were obtained from the oil-spilled beach areas in Miyagi, Japan, and all of which exhibited high potential in degrading heavy oil measured by gas chromatography with flame ionization detector (GC-FID). The polymerase chain reaction—denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and next-generation sequencing (NGS) revealed that the diverse microbial community in each consortium changed with subculture and became stable with a few effective microorganisms after 15 generations. The total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) degradation ability of the consortia obtained from a former gas station (C1: 81%) and oil refinery company (C6: 79%) was higher than that of the consortia obtained from wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) (C3: 67%, and C5: 73%), indicating that bacteria present in C1 and C6 were historically exposed to petroleum hydrocarbons. Moreover, it was intriguing that the consortium C4, also obtained from WWTP, exhibited high TPH degradation ability (77%). The NGS results revealed that two bacteria, Achromobacter sp. and Ochrobactrum sp., occupied more than 99% of the consortium C4, while no Pseudomonas sp. was found in C4, though this bacterium was observed in other consortia and is also known to be a potential candidate for TPH degradation as reported by previous studies. In addition, the consortium C4 showed high biosurfactant-producing ability among the studied consortia. To date, no study has reported the TPH degradation by the combination of Achromobacter sp. and Ochrobactrum sp.; therefore, the consortium C4 provided an excellent opportunity to study the interaction of and biosurfactant production by these two bacteria during TPH degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degradation of Marine Oil Pollution)
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Review

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Review
From Surface Water to the Deep Sea: A Review on Factors Affecting the Biodegradation of Spilled Oil in Marine Environment
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2022, 10(3), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10030426 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 954
Abstract
Over the past century, the demand for petroleum products has increased rapidly, leading to higher oil extraction, processing and transportation, which result in numerous oil spills in coastal-marine environments. As the spilled oil can negatively affect the coastal-marine ecosystems, its transport and fates [...] Read more.
Over the past century, the demand for petroleum products has increased rapidly, leading to higher oil extraction, processing and transportation, which result in numerous oil spills in coastal-marine environments. As the spilled oil can negatively affect the coastal-marine ecosystems, its transport and fates captured a significant interest of the scientific community and regulatory agencies. Typically, the environment has natural mechanisms (e.g., photooxidation, biodegradation, evaporation) to weather/degrade and remove the spilled oil from the environment. Among various oil weathering mechanisms, biodegradation by naturally occurring bacterial populations removes a majority of spilled oil, thus the focus on bioremediation has increased significantly. Helping in the marginal recognition of this promising technique for oil-spill degradation, this paper reviews recently published articles that will help broaden the understanding of the factors affecting biodegradation of spilled oil in coastal-marine environments. The goal of this review is to examine the effects of various environmental variables that contribute to oil degradation in the coastal-marine environments, as well as the factors that influence these processes. Physico-chemical parameters such as temperature, oxygen level, pressure, shoreline energy, salinity, and pH are taken into account. In general, increase in temperature, exposure to sunlight (photooxidation), dissolved oxygen (DO), nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium), shoreline energy (physical advection—waves) and diverse hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms consortium were found to increase spilled oil degradation in marine environments. In contrast, higher initial oil concentration and seawater pressure can lower oil degradation rates. There is limited information on the influences of seawater pH and salinity on oil degradation, thus warranting additional research. This comprehensive review can be used as a guide for bioremediation modeling and mitigating future oil spill pollution in the marine environment by utilizing the bacteria adapted to certain conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degradation of Marine Oil Pollution)
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Review
Oil Spill Modeling: A Critical Review on Current Trends, Perspectives, and Challenges
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9020181 - 10 Feb 2021
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 4264
Abstract
Several oil spill simulation models exist in the literature, which are used worldwide to simulate the evolution of an oil slick created from marine traffic, petroleum production, or other sources. These models may range from simple parametric calculations to advanced, new-generation, operational, three-dimensional [...] Read more.
Several oil spill simulation models exist in the literature, which are used worldwide to simulate the evolution of an oil slick created from marine traffic, petroleum production, or other sources. These models may range from simple parametric calculations to advanced, new-generation, operational, three-dimensional numerical models, coupled to meteorological, hydrodynamic, and wave models, forecasting in high-resolution and with high precision the transport and fate of oil. This study presents a review of the transport and oil weathering processes and their parameterization and critically examines eighteen state-of-the-art oil spill models in terms of their capacity (a) to simulate these processes, (b) to consider oil released from surface or submerged sources, (c) to assimilate real-time field data for model initiation and forcing, and (d) to assess uncertainty in the produced predictions. Based on our review, the most common oil weathering processes involved are spreading, advection, diffusion, evaporation, emulsification, and dispersion. The majority of existing oil spill models do not consider significant physical processes, such as oil dissolution, photo-oxidation, biodegradation, and vertical mixing. Moreover, timely response to oil spills is lacking in the new generation of oil spill models. Further improvements in oil spill modeling should emphasize more comprehensive parametrization of oil dissolution, biodegradation, entrainment, and prediction of oil particles size distribution following wave action and well blow outs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degradation of Marine Oil Pollution)
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Review
Bioremediation of Diesel Contaminated Marine Water by Bacteria: A Review and Bibliometric Analysis
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(2), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9020155 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2428
Abstract
Oil pollution can cause tremendous harm and risk to the water ecosystem and organisms due to the relatively recalcitrant hydrocarbon compounds. The current chemical method used to treat the ecosystem polluted with diesel is incompetent and expensive for a large-scale treatment. Thus, bioremediation [...] Read more.
Oil pollution can cause tremendous harm and risk to the water ecosystem and organisms due to the relatively recalcitrant hydrocarbon compounds. The current chemical method used to treat the ecosystem polluted with diesel is incompetent and expensive for a large-scale treatment. Thus, bioremediation technique seems urgent and requires more attention to solve the existing environmental problems. Biological agents, including microorganisms, carry out the biodegradation process where organic pollutants are mineralized into water, carbon dioxide, and less toxic compounds. Hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria are ubiquitous in the nature and often exploited for their specialty to bioremediate the oil-polluted area. The capability of these bacteria to utilize hydrocarbon compounds as a carbon source is the main reason behind their species exploitation. Recently, microbial remediation by halophilic bacteria has received many positive feedbacks as an efficient pollutant degrader. These halophilic bacteria are also considered as suitable candidates for bioremediation in hypersaline environments. However, only a few microbial species have been isolated with limited available information on the biodegradation of organic pollutants by halophilic bacteria. The fundamental aspect for successful bioremediation includes selecting appropriate microbes with a high capability of pollutant degradation. Therefore, high salinity bacteria are remarkable microbes for diesel degradation. This paper provides an updated overview of diesel hydrocarbon degradation, the effects of oil spills on the environment and living organisms, and the potential role of high salinity bacteria to decontaminate the organic pollutants in the water environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degradation of Marine Oil Pollution)
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