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Formation of carboxylic acids during aerobic biodegradation of crude oil and evidence of microbial oxidation of hopanes

Lookup NU author(s): Jonathan Watson, Dr Martin Jones


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During the biodegradation of crude oil in the laboratory, significant amounts of carboxylic acids were produced. Medium molecular weight (C10-C20) carboxylic acids were rapidly produced, which coincided with the removal of the n-alkanes but these acids were then also rapidly biodegraded. After extensive biodegradation of the hydrocarbons there was an increase in the concentration of higher (> C20) molecular weight branched and cyclic carboxylic acids which appeared as an unresolved complex mixture (UCM) in the gas chromatograms of these acid fractions. These latter acids appeared recalcitrant to further biodegradation during the experiment. The presence of hopanoic acids with the 17α(H),21β(H) configuration in the most degraded laboratory samples, indicated that biodegradation of hopane hydrocarbons had also taken place, with side chain oxidation. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Watson JS, Jones DM, Swannell RPJ, Van Duin ACT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Organic Geochemistry

Year: 2002

Volume: 33

Issue: 10

Pages: 1153-1169

ISSN (print): 0146-6380

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5290

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/S0146-6380(02)00086-4


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