Optimum nitrogen concentration supporting maximum crude oil biodegradation in microcosms

Xiaoming Du, Paul Reeser, Makram T. Suidan, Tiehong Huang, Moustafa Moteleb, Michael C. Boufadel, Albert D. Venosa

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the minimum nitrogen concentration needed by microorganisms to biodegrade crude oil hydrocarbons attached to sand particles in a microcosm simulating a low energy marine beach. The experimental approach involved mixing clean sand with weathered Alaska North Slope crude oil and monitoring biodegradation in continuous-flow beach microcosms over a 40-day time period. Two experiments were conducted with different nitrate-N concentrations in the feed (0, 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 2.5, 5.0 mg/L in the first experiment and 2.5, 5.0, 10, 25, and 50 mg/L in the second). Experimental results indicated that nitrate concentrations below approximately 10 mg/L limited the rate of crude oil biodegradation. This conclusion was supported by oxygen uptake, CO 2 production, nitrate consumption, and biomass growth data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event2005 International Oil Spill Conference, IOSC 2005 - Miami Beach, FL, United States
Duration: May 15 2005May 19 2005


Other2005 International Oil Spill Conference, IOSC 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMiami Beach, FL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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