Preprint Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Current Status of the Degradation of Aliphatic and Aromatic Petroleum Hydrocarbons by Thermophilic Microbes and Future Perspectives

Version 1 : Received: 6 November 2018 / Approved: 7 November 2018 / Online: 7 November 2018 (14:34:42 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Nzila, A. Current Status of the Degradation of Aliphatic and Aromatic Petroleum Hydrocarbons by Thermophilic Microbes and Future Perspectives. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2782. Nzila, A. Current Status of the Degradation of Aliphatic and Aromatic Petroleum Hydrocarbons by Thermophilic Microbes and Future Perspectives. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2782.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2782
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15122782

Abstract

Contamination of the environment by petroleum products is a growing concern worldwide, and strategies to remove these contaminants have been evaluated. One of these strategies is biodegradation, which consists of the use of microorganisms. Biodegradation is significantly improved by increasing the temperature of the milieu, thus, the use of thermophiles, microbes that thrive in high-temperature environments, will render this process more efficient. For instance, various thermophilic enzymes have been used in industrial biotechnology because of their unique catalytic properties. Biodegradation has been extensively studied in the context of mesophilic microbes, and the mechanisms of biodegradation of aliphatic and aromatic petroleum hydrocarbons have been elucidated. However, in comparison, little work has been carried out on the biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons by thermophiles. In this paper, a detailed review of the degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons (both aliphatic and aromatic) by thermophiles has been carried out. This work has identified the characteristics of thermophiles, and unravelled specific catabolic pathways of petroleum products that are only found in thermophiles. Gaps that limit our understanding of the activity of these microbes have also been highlighted, and finally, different strategies that can be used to improve the efficiency of degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons by thermophiles have been proposed.

Subject Areas

Biodegradation, thermophiles, petroleum hydrocarbons, aliphatics, aromatics, metabolites

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