Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Fallon, Agata M. Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-81898-121611 Title Study of Hydrocarbon Waste Biodegradation and the Role of Biosurfactants in the Process Degree Master of Science Department Environmental Engineering Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Novak, John T. Committee Chair Love, Nancy G. Committee Member Widdowson, Mark A. Committee Member Keywords
- waste oil
- batch systems
- polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons
- hydrocarbon degradation
Date of Defense 1998-08-21 Availability unrestricted AbstractTwo types of oily waste sludges generated by a railroad
maintenance facility were studied to reduce the volume of
hydrocarbon waste. The specific goals of this laboratory
study were to evaluate rate and extent of microbial
degradation, benefits of organism addition, role of
biosurfactant, and dewatering properties.
The oily waste sludges differed in characteristics and
contained a mixture of water, motor oil, lubricating oil,
and other petroleum products. Degradation was measured
using COD, suspended solids, GC measurements of extractable
material, and nonextractable material concentration.
Biosurfactant production was characterized using surface
tension and polysaccharide measurements.
Degradation of ten percent waste oil showed that
the removal in a 91 day experiment was 75 percent for COD
and suspended solids, 98 percent for extractable oil, and
negligible for non-extractable material. It was concluded
that methylene chloride extraction could be used to
estimate degradation potential of a hydrocarbon waste.
Addition of organisms increased the rate and extent of
degradation over 22 days, but did not provide any benefits
over 91 days.
Data suggested that microorganisms degraded simple
compounds first, then produced biosurfactants. It was
thought that the biosurfactants remained attached to the
organism membrane and increased solubility, stimulating
the degradation of difficult to degrade waste oil. After
oil was degraded the biosurfactants became ineffective.
The dewatering properties of 10 percent oily sludge
deteriorated with the production of biosurfactant and
improved after the surfactant was degraded due to changes
in oil solubility.
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