Anaerobic oxidation of o-xylene, m-xylene, and homologous alkylbenzenes by new types of sulfate-reducing bacteria. (1/660)

Various alkylbenzenes were depleted during growth of an anaerobic, sulfate-reducing enrichment culture with crude oil as the only source of organic substrates. From this culture, two new types of mesophilic, rod-shaped sulfate-reducing bacteria, strains oXyS1 and mXyS1, were isolated with o-xylene and m-xylene, respectively, as organic substrates. Sequence analyses of 16S rRNA genes revealed that the isolates affiliated with known completely oxidizing sulfate-reducing bacteria of the delta subclass of the class Proteobacteria. Strain oXyS1 showed the highest similarities to Desulfobacterium cetonicum and Desulfosarcina variabilis (similarity values, 98.4 and 98.7%, respectively). Strain mXyS1 was less closely related to known species, the closest relative being Desulfococcus multivorans (similarity value, 86.9%). Complete mineralization of o-xylene and m-xylene was demonstrated in quantitative growth experiments. Strain oXyS1 was able to utilize toluene, o-ethyltoluene, benzoate, and o-methylbenzoate in addition to o-xylene. Strain mXyS1 oxidized toluene, m-ethyltoluene, m-isoproyltoluene, benzoate, and m-methylbenzoate in addition to m-xylene. Strain oXyS1 did not utilize m-alkyltoluenes, whereas strain mXyS1 did not utilize o-alkyltoluenes. Like the enrichment culture, both isolates grew anaerobically on crude oil with concomitant reduction of sulfate to sulfide.  (+info)

Microbial desulfurization of organic sulfur compounds in petroleum. (2/660)

Sulfur removal from petroleum is important from the standpoint of the global environment because the combustion of sulfur compounds leads to the production of sulfur oxides, which are the source of acid rain. As the regulations for sulfur in fuels become more stringent, the existing chemical desulfurizations are coming inadequate for the "deeper desulfurization" to produce lower-sulfur fuels without new and innovative processes. Biodesulfurization is rising as one of the candidates. Several microorganisms were found to desulfurize dibenzothiophene (DBT), a representative of the organic sulfur compounds in petroleum, forming a sulfur-free compound, 2-hydroxybiphenyl. They are promising as biocatalysts in the microbial desulfurization of petroleum because without assimilation of the carbon content, they remove only sulfur from the heterocyclic compounds which is refractory to conventional chemical desulfurization. Both enzymological and molecular genetic studies are now in progress for the purpose of obtaining improved desulfurization activity of organisms. The genes involved in the sulfur-specific DBT desulfurization were identified and the corresponding enzymes have been investigated. From the practical point of view, it has been proved that the microbial desulfurization proceeds in the presence of high concentrations of hydrocarbons, and more complicated DBT analogs are also desulfurized by the microorganisms. This review outlines the progress in the studies of the microbial desulfurization from the basic and practical point of view.  (+info)

Potential effects of gas hydrate on human welfare. (3/660)

For almost 30 years. serious interest has been directed toward natural gas hydrate, a crystalline solid composed of water and methane, as a potential (i) energy resource, (ii) factor in global climate change, and (iii) submarine geohazard. Although each of these issues can affect human welfare, only (iii) is considered to be of immediate importance. Assessments of gas hydrate as an energy resource have often been overly optimistic, based in part on its very high methane content and on its worldwide occurrence in continental margins. Although these attributes are attractive, geologic settings, reservoir properties, and phase-equilibria considerations diminish the energy resource potential of natural gas hydrate. The possible role of gas hydrate in global climate change has been often overstated. Although methane is a "greenhouse" gas in the atmosphere, much methane from dissociated gas hydrate may never reach the atmosphere, but rather may be converted to carbon dioxide and sequestered by the hydrosphere/biosphere before reaching the atmosphere. Thus, methane from gas hydrate may have little opportunity to affect global climate change. However, submarine geohazards (such as sediment instabilities and slope failures on local and regional scales, leading to debris flows, slumps, slides, and possible tsunamis) caused by gas-hydrate dissociation are of immediate and increasing importance as humankind moves to exploit seabed resources in ever-deepening waters of coastal oceans. The vulnerability of gas hydrate to temperature and sea level changes enhances the instability of deep-water oceanic sediments, and thus human activities and installations in this setting can be affected.  (+info)

Effects of surfactant mixtures, including Corexit 9527, on bacterial oxidation of acetate and alkanes in crude oil. (4/660)

Mixtures of nonionic and anionic surfactants, including Corexit 9527, were tested to determine their effects on bacterial oxidation of acetate and alkanes in crude oil by cells pregrown on these substrates. Corexit 9527 inhibited oxidation of the alkanes in crude oil by Acinetobacter calcoaceticus ATCC 31012, while Span 80, a Corexit 9527 constituent, markedly increased the oil oxidation rate. Another Corexit 9527 constituent, the negatively charged dioctyl sulfosuccinate (AOT), strongly reduced the oxidation rate. The combination of Span 80 and AOT increased the rate, but not as much as Span 80 alone increased it, which tentatively explained the negative effect of Corexit 9527. The results of acetate uptake and oxidation experiments indicated that the nonionic surfactants interacted with the acetate uptake system while the anionic surfactant interacted with the oxidation system of the bacteria. The overall effect of Corexit 9527 on alkane oxidation by A. calcoaceticus ATCC 31012 thus seems to be the sum of the independent effects of the individual surfactants in the surfactant mixture. When Rhodococcus sp. strain 094 was used, the alkane oxidation rate decreased to almost zero in the presence of a mixture of Tergitol 15-S-7 and AOT even though the Tergitol 15-S-7 surfactant increased the alkane oxidation rate and AOT did not affect it. This indicated that there was synergism between the two surfactants rather than an additive effect like that observed for A. calcoaceticus ATCC 31012.  (+info)

Determination of tin, vanadium, iron, and molybdenum in various matrices by atomic absorption spectrometry using a simultaneous liquid-liquid extraction procedure. (5/660)

An atomic-absorption spectrometric method is described for the determination of tin, vanadium, iron, and molybdenum in two certified reference materials, food samples, and petroleum crude. After treatment with acids, these elements are separated from matrix elements by simultaneous solvent extraction of 5,5'-methylenedisalicylohydroxamic acid complexes from HCl/NaClO4 solution into an isobutyl methyl ketone/tributyl phosphate solution. The detection limits range from 0.018 to 0.19 microg/mL (n = 3), and the relative standard deviations do not exceed 2.0% at levels of 0.5, 0.6, 2.0, and 7.0 microg/mL of Fe, Mo, V, and Sn, respectively. The method is selective and suffers only from interference by Zr(IV), Ti(IV), Th(IV), W(VI), PO4(3-), and F-.  (+info)

Petroleum distillate solvents as risk factors for undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD). (6/660)

Occupational solvent exposure may increase the risk of connective tissue disease (CTD). The objective of this case-control study was to investigate the relation between undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD) and solvent exposure in Michigan and Ohio. Women were considered to have UCTD if they did not meet the American College of Rheumatology classification criteria for any CTD but had at least two documented signs, symptoms, or laboratory abnormalities suggestive of a CTD. Detailed information on solvent exposure was ascertained from 205 cases, diagnosed between 1980 and 1992, and 2,095 population-based controls. Age-adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95 percent confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for all exposures. Among 16 self-reported occupational activities with potential solvent exposure, furniture refinishing (OR = 9.73, 95 percent CI 1.48-63.90), perfume, cosmetic, or drug manufacturing (OR = 7.71, 95 percent CI 2.24-26.56), rubber product manufacturing (OR = 4.70, 95 percent CI 1.75-12.61), work in a medical diagnostic or pathology laboratory (OR = 4.52, 95 percent CI 2.27-8.97), and painting or paint manufacturing (OR = 2.87, 95 percent CI 1.06-7.76) were significantly associated with UCTD. After expert review of self-reported exposure to ten specific solvents, paint thinners or removers (OR = 2.73, 95 percent CI 1.80-4.16) and mineral spirits (OR = 1.81, 95 percent CI 1.09-3.02) were associated with UCTD. These results suggest that exposure to petroleum distillates increases the risk of developing UCTD.  (+info)

Marinobacter aquaeolei sp. nov., a halophilic bacterium isolated from a Vietnamese oil-producing well. (7/660)

Several strains of moderately halophilic and mesophilic bacteria were isolated at the head of an oil-producing well on an offshore platform in southern Vietnam. Cells were Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped and motile by means of a polar flagellum. Growth occurred at NaCl concentrations between 0 and 20%; the optimum was 5% NaCl. One strain, which was designated VT8T, could degrade n-hexadecane, pristane and some crude oil components. It grew anaerobically in the presence of nitrate on succinate, citrate or acetate, but not on glucose. Several organic acids and amino acids were utilized as sole carbon and energy sources. The major components of its cellular fatty acids were C12:0 3-OH, C16:1, omega 9c, C16:0 and C18:1 omega 9c. The DNA G + C content was 55.7 mol%. 16S rDNA sequence analysis indicated that strain VT8T was closely related to Marinobacter sp. strain CAB (99.8% similarity) and Marinobaster hydrocarbonoclasticus (99.4% similarity). Its antibiotic resistance, isoprenoid quinones and fatty acids were similar to those of Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus and Pseudomonas nautica. However, the whole-cell protein pattern of VT8T differed from that of other halophilic marine isolates, including P. nautica. DNA-DNA hybridization indicated that the level of relatedness to Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus was 65% and that to P. nautica was 75%. Further differences were apparent in Fourier-transformed IR spectra of cells and lipopolysaccharide composition. It is proposed that VT8T should be the type strain of a new species and should be named Marinobacter aquaeolei. P. nautica may have been misclassified, as suggested previously, and may also belong to the genus Marinobacter.  (+info)

The role of dermal irritation in the skin tumor promoting activity of petroleum middle distillates. (8/660)

Petroleum middle distillates (PMDs), a class of hydrocarbons which boil between 350-700 degrees F, are tumor promoters in mouse skin. The promotional activity is produced under conditions that also result in local changes, including chronic irritation and epidermal hyperplasia. The present study was conducted by comparing equal weekly doses of irritating and minimally or nonirritating test materials, to assess whether tumor promotion was a secondary response to these effects. Four PMDs, C10-C14 normal paraffins (NP), lightly refined paraffinic oil (LRPO), Jet Fuel A (JF), and steam-cracked gas oil (SCGO), were evaluated. Test materials were applied undiluted (2x/week) or as 28.6% (7x/week) or 50% (4x/week) concentrations in mineral oil for 52 weeks following initiation with dimethylbenzanthracene (DMBA). When applied undiluted, all materials produced moderate irritation and significant increase in tumor incidence. When NP, LRPO, or JF were applied in mineral oil diluent, skin irritation was generally ameliorated and few, if any, tumors were produced. SCGO was irritating and produced a significant increase in tumor frequency when administered in mineral-oil diluent. These data indicate that the promotional activity of straight-run PMDs is likely related to chronic irritation at the application site and not to dose. Thus, when used appropriately in the absence of prolonged irritation, these materials should not present a tumorigenic hazard to humans.  (+info)