Formation of carboxylic acids during aerobic biodegradation of crude oil and evidence of microbial oxidation of hopanes

J. S. Watson, D. M. Jones, R. P.J. Swannell, A. C.T. Van Duin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During the biodegradation of crude oil in the laboratory, significant amounts of carboxylic acids were produced. Medium molecular weight (C10-C20) carboxylic acids were rapidly produced, which coincided with the removal of the n-alkanes but these acids were then also rapidly biodegraded. After extensive biodegradation of the hydrocarbons there was an increase in the concentration of higher (> C20) molecular weight branched and cyclic carboxylic acids which appeared as an unresolved complex mixture (UCM) in the gas chromatograms of these acid fractions. These latter acids appeared recalcitrant to further biodegradation during the experiment. The presence of hopanoic acids with the 17α(H),21β(H) configuration in the most degraded laboratory samples, indicated that biodegradation of hopane hydrocarbons had also taken place, with side chain oxidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1169
Number of pages17
JournalOrganic Geochemistry
Volume33
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 10 2002

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Petroleum
carboxylic acid
Carboxylic Acids
Biodegradation
crude oil
biodegradation
oxidation
Oxidation
Acids
acid
Hydrocarbons
Molecular weight
hydrocarbon
Alkanes
Complex Mixtures
alkane
Gases
hopane
gas
experiment

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this

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abstract = "During the biodegradation of crude oil in the laboratory, significant amounts of carboxylic acids were produced. Medium molecular weight (C10-C20) carboxylic acids were rapidly produced, which coincided with the removal of the n-alkanes but these acids were then also rapidly biodegraded. After extensive biodegradation of the hydrocarbons there was an increase in the concentration of higher (> C20) molecular weight branched and cyclic carboxylic acids which appeared as an unresolved complex mixture (UCM) in the gas chromatograms of these acid fractions. These latter acids appeared recalcitrant to further biodegradation during the experiment. The presence of hopanoic acids with the 17α(H),21β(H) configuration in the most degraded laboratory samples, indicated that biodegradation of hopane hydrocarbons had also taken place, with side chain oxidation.",
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Formation of carboxylic acids during aerobic biodegradation of crude oil and evidence of microbial oxidation of hopanes. / Watson, J. S.; Jones, D. M.; Swannell, R. P.J.; Van Duin, A. C.T.

In: Organic Geochemistry, Vol. 33, No. 10, 10.11.2002, p. 1153-1169.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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