Kapok (Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertn.) Fibers Packed in Nylon Nets as Sorbent for Diesel Oil Spill and its ex-situ Bioremediation

Alma Lorelei DJ Abejero, Antonio J Alcantara, Lorele C Trinidad, Maxima E Flavier
Vol 16 No 1 (2013), pp. 72-83




The effects of oil spill on the ecosystem and human lives are unprecedented. Early response and containment of the oil spill is the best approach in reducing the environmental impacts. This study assessed the diesel oil absorption capacity of Kapok fiber packed in Nylon net then tested the ability of a consortium of bacterial species reported to have oil degrading properties. To evaluate the conditions for the application of ex situ bioremediation, the hydrocarbon conversion was determined qualitatively by monitoring some possible degradation products with hexadecane as reference.

Kapok (Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertn.) fibers packed in Nylon net were found effective in adsorbing diesel oil with a sorption capacity of 15.5 g g-1 fibers. A consortium of Bacillus megaterium, Corynebacterium flavescens, Micrococcus luteus and Pseudomonas putida with nutrient amendment (0.15 g N and 0.03 g P gram-1 oil) was used to determine preliminary oil biodegration. Microbial population was sustained for six weeks and all species were found to contribute in the degradation process. Biosurfactant production was also observed in the seawater media. Gas chromatographic analysis showed some degradation products of the adsorbed diesel oil after one week of treatment. The use of Kapok sorbents for Tier 1 and 2 oil spill clean-up and its bioremediation done ex situ to degrade the diesel oil hydrocarbons can be an option.


Keywords: Kapok sorbents, diesel hydrocarbon degradation, oil spill, bioremediation

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