Effects of homemade biosurfactant from Bacillus methylotrophicus on bioremediation efficiency of a clay soil contaminated with diesel oil

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2020 Sep 15;201:110798. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.110798. Epub 2020 Jun 8.


Despite constant progress in the understanding of the mechanisms related to the effects of biosurfactants in the bioremediation processes of oily residues, the possibility of antagonist effects on microbial growth and the production in situ of these compounds must be elucidated. The aims of this work were a) to evaluate the effects of the addition of a homemade biosurfactant of Bacillus methylotrophicus on the microbial count in soil in order to determine the possibility of inhibitory effects, and b) to accomplish biostimulation using media prepared with whey and bioaugmentation with B. methylotrophicus, analyzing the effects on the bioremediation of diesel oil and evidencing the in situ production of biosurfactants through effects on surface tension. The homemade bacterial biosurfactant did not present inhibitory effects acting as a biostimulant until 4000 mg biosurfactant/kg of soil. The biostimulation and bioaugmentation presented similar better results (p > 0.05) with the degradation of oil (~60%) than natural attenuation due to the low quantities of biostimulants added. For bioaugmentated and biostimulated soils, a decrease of surface tension between 30 and 60 days was observed, indicating the production of tensoactives in the soil, which was not observed in natural attenuation or a control treatment.

Keywords: Adsorption; Bacterial surfactant; Biodegradation; Hydrocarbon; Stimulating effect; Tensoactive.

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus / drug effects*
  • Bacillus / growth & development
  • Bacillus / metabolism
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Clay / chemistry*
  • Petroleum / analysis*
  • Petroleum / metabolism
  • Soil / chemistry*
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*
  • Soil Pollutants / metabolism
  • Surface-Active Agents / chemistry
  • Surface-Active Agents / pharmacology*


  • Petroleum
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • Clay