Table of Contents
ISRN Soil Science
Volume 2012, Article ID 435485, 11 pages
Research Article

Degradation of Asphaltenic Fraction by Locally Isolated Halotolerant Bacterial Strains

1Environmental Biotechnology, Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute, Nasr City, Cairo 11271, Egypt
2Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566, Egypt

Received 23 December 2011; Accepted 30 January 2012

Academic Editors: B. J. Allred, T. J. Cutright, W. Ding, and Z. L. He

Copyright © 2012 Hager R. Ali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Three halotolerant bacterial species were isolated from locally oil-polluted water sample for their ability to utilize asphaltene (Asph) fraction as sole carbon and energy source. These bacteria degrade 83–96% of 2500 mg/L asphaltene within 21 d at 3 0 C and pH7. They were identified as Bacillus sp. Asph1, Pseudomonas aeruginosa Asph2, and Micrococcus sp. Asph3. A statistically significant difference at 95% confidence level for cell growth and percentage biodegradation (%BD) was observed in all biotreatment flasks relative to noninoculated (–ve control) flasks. Regression analysis estimated a quadratic polynomial equation for Asph biodegradation as a function of cell growth. Gel permeation chromatographic (GPC) and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) analysis revealed decrease in Asph average molecular weights and significant alternations in functional groups after biotreatment, respectively.