Compounds present in oil sludge such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are known to be cytotoxic, mutagenic and potentially carcinogenic. Microorganisms including bacteria and fungi have been reported to degrade oil sludge components to innocuous compounds such as carbon dioxide, water and salts. In the present study, we isolated different bacteria with PAH-degrading capabilities from compost prepared from oil sludge and animal manures. These bacteria were isolated on a mineral base medium and mineral salt agar plates. A total of 31 morphologically distinct isolates were carefully selected from 5 different compost treatments for identification using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of the 16S rRNA gene with specific primers (universal forward 16S-P1 PCR and reverse 16S-P2 PCR). The amplicons were sequenced and sequences were compared with the known nucleotides from the GenBank. The phylogenetic analyses of the isolates showed that they belong to 3 different clades; Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. These bacteria identified were closely related to the genera Bacillus, Arthrobacter, Staphylococcus, Brevibacterium, Variovorax, Paenibacillus, Ralstonia and Geobacillus. The results showed that Bacillus species were predominant in all composts. Based on the results of the degradation of the PAHs in the composts and results of previous studies on bacterial degradation of hydrocarbons in oil, the characteristics of these bacterial isolates suggests that they may be responsible for the breakdown of PAHs of different molecular weights in the composts. Thus, they may be potentially useful for bioremediation of oil sludge during compost bioremediation.
Studies were conducted using a 10-chamber Micro-Oxymax (Columbus, OH, USA) respirometer to determine the effect of bioaugmentation, biostimulation and combination of them on enhancing intrinsic biodegradation of oil hydrocarbons in soil. Contaminated soil was collected from a former military airport in Kluczewo, Poland. Bioaugmentation was realized by addition of indigenous or exogenous bacteria to soil. Biostimulation was done by aerated water supply and surfactant addition. Bioaugmentation + addition of a surfactant was applied as the combined treatment. The intrinsic and enhanced hydrocarbons biodegradation rates were estimated from the slopes of linear regressions of cumulative curves of O2 uptake. Pertinent biodegradation rates were recalculated on the basis of the stoichiometric reaction (mass balance equation) and conversion equation. The results showed that combined treatment (indigenous bacteria bioaugmentation + addition of a surfactant) was the most effective method of biodegradation enhancement as the 20-fold increase of biodegradation rate was observed.