Oil Be Seeing You
Purpose- To determine the relationship between soil environments and the activity of petroleum-degrading bacteria.
Background information-Petroleum is a rich source of organic matter. It is not surprising, therefore, that a wide variety of microorganisms will readily attack it under certain environmental conditions. This demonstrates a beneficial role of microorganisms- the biodegradation of pollutants. Significant breakdown will only take place in the presence of oxygen. If the oil is deposited into an anaerobic environment (absence of oxygen), decomposition will not occur and it may remain in place for many years. This helps to explain why natural oil deposits may be millions of years old. The physical properties of oil, which are insolubility in water and low density, will explain the formation of oil slicks. The oil is exposed to oxygen and is quickly attacked by oil-degrading bacteria, which eventually decompose the oil and disperse it. Petroleum degraders include a variety of bacteria, certain molds and yeasts. Most soil should have bacteria, capable of using oil. Service stations most often have oil-soaked soil, which is an excellent source of these microorganisms. Oil-degrading bacteria often use other common organic chemicals, such as moth balls, as nutrients.
5-clear, covered experimental containers (125ml minimum)
5- volume-measuring containers
4- 10 ml. Pipettes and pipette pumps
4 collection bottles
Clear metric ruler
30 ml. Nutrient broth, Miracle-gro or dissolved chicken bouillon cube
Lysol or 10% bleach solution
Procedure for Detecting the Presence of Oil-degrading Bacteria
|Main Page||Lab Abstract||Teacher Page||PowerPoint Presentation|
Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
CN 5281, Princeton NJ 08543-5281 - Tel:(609)452-7007 - Fax:(609)452-0066
Technical contact: email@example.com