Biotransformation of chemically dispersed diesel at sub-zero temperatures using artificial brines
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionEnvironmental technology. 2020, . https://doi.org/10.1080/09593330.2019.1708976
The biotransformation of hydrocarbon compounds in seawater at sub-zero temperature has gained research interest in recent years with the most focus placed on temperatures around 0°C. In this study, biotransformation of dispersed diesel at sub-zero temperatures (−2°C to −6°C) in artificial brines, prepared by adding Instant Ocean salt to natural seawater to increase salinity, is examined. The oil was pre-mixed with dispersant Finasol 51 to prepare the dispersed oil at 2 mg l−1. The native microorganisms in sub-arctic seawater were able to adapt to high salinity and lower temperature in the sea ice brine at tested temperatures and were capable of biotransforming hydrocarbon compounds. Complete depletion of low and middle-range molecular weight n-alkanes, 2/3 ring PAHs and their alkylated compounds was observed after 123 days at −2°C. The depletion extents of hydrocarbon compounds were reduced at −6°C in comparison with −2°C,especially for PAHs and alkylated hydrocarbons. This study suggests that: there is a potential for biodegradation of dispersed oil in sea ice brine at temperatures between −2°C and −6°C. However, for oil with high pour point, the biodegradation process will be more affected by low temperature. Therefore, to predict the fate of dispersed oil at low temperature, the biodegradation rate should be established for each individual oil type and at a specific temperature.