Biodegradation of dispersed weathered Endicott oil in Prince William Sound water

Zhong Pan, Yves Robert Personna, Michel C. Boufadel, Thomas King, Jennifer Mason, Lisa Axe, Xiaolong Geng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper investigates biodegradation of physically dispersed oil (WAF) and chemically dispersed oil (CEWAF). Two salinities are considered: low (6.5‰) and high salinity (29‰), and for each salinity two nutrient conditions are considered: low nutrient, using the background concentration (0.05 mg-N L-1 and 0.10-0.20 mg-P L-1) and high nutrient, using concentrations of 100 mg-N L-1 and 10 mg-P L-1. Results show that the oil concentration for the WAF is ∼20 times less than that resulting from the CEWAF. In the WAF, the biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was not detected due to extremely low concentration. In contrast, the biodegradation of the alkanes and the methylated PAHs (mPAHs) is as high as 72% after 42 days and seem to be unaffected by the nutrient concentration. In the CEWAF, considerable biodegradation is noted for the alkanes, PAHs, and mPAHs. The enhanced oil biodegradation in the presence of dispersant suggests that chemical dispersion might be an effective approach in the treatment of spilled oil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04017044
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering (United States)
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science


  • Biodegradation
  • Dispersant
  • Nutrient
  • Oil
  • Salinity


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