Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Microbiology, University of Benin, Nigeria

2 Department of biological sciences, Faculty of science and science education, Anchor University Lagos Nigeria.

3 Department of Microbiology, University of Benin



Crude oil contaminated soil has posed major environmental problems in recent years. Effort to clean up crude oil is usually cumbersome and costly. However, an improved method in bioremediation which involves the use of microorganisms is cost effective and environmentally safe. Hence, this work was designed to evaluate the potential of microorganisms isolated from crude oil contaminate soil, to degrade hydrocarbon. Samples of crude oil contaminated soil were collected from Warri Refining and petrochemical Company in Delta State and characterized using standard microbiological procedure. Isolates were assayed for their ability to degrade hydrocarbon using mineral salt medium containing crude oil as source of carbon. Soil samples were treated as follows: A – untreated/control soil plus sterile crude oil, B – untreated soil plus crude oil and carrier, C – treated soil (with Enterobacter aerogenes) plus crude oil and carrier, D – treated soil (with Actinomycetes) plus crude oil and carrier, E – treated soil (with Enterobacter aerogenes and Actinomycetes) plus crude oil and carrier. On day zero, A (control) and B set up showed no growth while C, D and E showed growth of 1.56x108, 2.37x108, and 5.43 x108 cfu/g respectively. After 14 days treatment, A had no growth while B, C, D and E had bacterial count of 2.6 x104 cfu/g, 7.68x1011, 1.42x1012 and 1.96x102 cfu/g respectively. At the end of 28 days period, A, B, C, D and E had count of 1.2 x 103cfu/g, 5.22 x 1011cfu/g, 9.30 x 1014cfu/g, 1.79 x1017cfu/g and 2.52 x.1019 cfu/g respectively. Percentage reduction of crude oil content in soil samples by the bacterial isolates, Serratia marcescens, Actinomycetes and Enterobacter aerogenes had a reduction of 44.3 %, 79.26 % and 61.69 % respectively. The results showed that Actinomycetes had the highest reduction rate of hydrocarbon content of soil more than other isolates.


Main Subjects