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PROJECT ID : 21894
TYPE : Project
FILE TYPE : MS Word
PAGES : 46
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MICROBIAL DEGRADATION OF HYDROCARBONS IN THE ENVIRONMENT
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Science Lab. Technology

CHAPTER ONE

1.1     INTRODUCTION

The intent of the present review is to present a broad and updated overview of the microbial ecology of hydrocarbon degradation, emphasizing both environmental and biological factors which are involved in determining the rate at which an extent to which hydrocarbons are removed from the environment by biodegradation. Aspects of biodegradation of petroleum and individual hydrocarbons in marine, freshwater and soil ecosystems are presented. In the modern industrial age of technologies various aspects of human life changes. The quality of life on earth is highly related with its environment. It is very important for life to sustain that the environment should remain clean and healthy. In recent times due to the increase in industrialization and utilization of petroleum related products not to forget negligence using them, the environment is getting damaged. To clean up especially the subsurface hydrocarbon concentration is a worldwide problem. The development of human society all over history has lead to rising disruption of the natural equilibrium and the rate of different types of pollution. The planet depends on oil, and the use of oil as fuel has lead to intensive economic development worldwide. The great need for this power source has led to the gradual exhaustion of normal oil capital. on the other hand, mankind will witness the results of oil utilization for centuries after its termination. Ecological pollution with petroleum and petrochemical products has been recognized as a significant and serious problem1.

Today, the most common environment problem is caused due to petroleum products. If these products are exposed to the environment they can be hazardous to the surroundings as well as to life forms. Millions of liters of petroleum enter into the environment, from both natural and anthropogenic sources every year.

The recent spill of more than 200,000 barrels of crude oil from the oil tanker Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound, Alexander, M. (2000) as well as smaller spills in Texas, Rhode Island, and the has refocused attention on the problem of hydrocarbon contamination in the environment. It is estimated that the annual global input of petroleum is between 1.7 and 8.8 million metric tons, the majority of which is derived from anthropogenic sources. Biodegradation of hydrocarbons by natural populations of microorganisms represents one of the primary mechanisms by which petroleum and other hydrocarbon pollutants are eliminated from the environment. The effects of environmental parameters on the microbial degradation of hydrocarbons, the elucidation of metabolic pathways and genetic bases for hydrocarbon dissimilation by microorganisms, and the effects of hydrocarbon contamination on microorganisms and microbial communities have been areas of intense interest and the subjects of several reviews Awasthi, N. Ahuja, R. and Kumar, A. (2000). The intent of the present review is to present a broad and  updated overview of the microbial ecology of hydrocarbon degradation, emphasizing both environmental and biological factors which are involved in determining the rate at which and extent to which hydrocarbons are removed from the environment by biodegradation. Aspects of biodegradation of petroleum and individual hydrocarbons in marine, freshwater, and soil ecosystems are presented. It should be noted that the majority of studies have been concerned with degradation of oil in the marine environment, and this is necessarily reflected, to a certain extent, in this review. Applications of relatively recent advances in molecular biological techniques, such as the isolation of plasmid DNA and the construction of DNA probes, to the study of hydrocarbon degradation by microbial communities will be discussed, as well as the use of natural or genetically engineered microorganisms as seeds to increase rates of biodegradation of hydrocarbon pollutants in the environment Balba et al., (1998).

1.2     Aim and objectives

The aim of the research is to determine the mechanisms of biodegradation of hydrocarbon pollutants in the environment and adoption of microorganisms involve in degradation of hydrocarbon.

1.3     Scope and Limitation of Study

The scope of this study is on biodegradation of hydrocarbon. This work is limited due to time and financial constraints.

1.4     Significance of the Study

This research work will serve as a reference material for further researches. It will also serve as a guide that will help the government to formulate alternative policies and strategies that can aid effective aspects of biodegradation of petroleum and individual hydrocarbons in marine, freshwater and soil ecosystems are presented.

 

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