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Biosurfactants production potential of native hydrocarbon degrading bacteria strains in refinery effluent collected from kaduna refinery and petrochemical company Nigeria

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Zakka Jonathan, Markus Victor, Paul Abraham Tanta Emmanuel and Jonathan Bege

The enormous diversity and application of biosurfactants and the increased environmental concerns due to the toxicity of chemical surfactants and their difficulty in being degraded in the environment, coupled with the emergence of more stringent laws and advance in biotechnology have led to biosurfactants being a potential alternative to the chemical surfactants. In this study, native hydrocarbon degrading bacterial strains in refinery effluent collected from Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company Nigeria were isolated, characterized, and screened for their potential to produce biosufactants. Pure cultures of the bacterial strains were obtained by enrichment technique from the refinery effluent collected at three different sites along the affluent site. Isolated strains were characterized by microscopic examination, gram staining reaction, morphological, cultural and biochemical tests. Screening for the potential to produce biosurfactants was by haemolytic activity and emulsification of hydrocarbons. The result showed that the isolated bacteria strains belong to the genera Bacillus sp, Pseudomonas sp, Lactobacillus sp, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, with Pseudomonas sp, Bacillus sp, and Staphylococcus aureus having the highest biosurfactant production when grown on diesel as sole carbon source. Not all heterotrophs obtained from hydrocarbon polluted environment are capable of producing biosurfactants.

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