2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference
Dr. Aslan Hwanhwi Lee, University of Saskatchewan
Mr. Jihun Kim, University Of Saskatchewan
Microbes and minerals interact in nature. The compatibility of microbial metabolisms with reactive mineral treatments may allow useful environmental processes to be further engineered for the removal of multiple contaminants. We have focused on hybridizing bioremediation and desalination processes to remove hydrocarbons, sodium and chloride from contaminated oilfield produced water, oilfield wastes and impacted soils and groundwater. The main remedial agents in this combined remediation strategy are native salt-tolerant hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria (hydrocarbon biodegradation) and functionalized mineral amendments (desalination). Some indigenous hydrocarbon degraders in oilfield soils are halotolerant and can be metabolically active in both the absence and presence of salts (NaCl), unlike halophiles, which require salt to grow. These halotolerant populations are potentially beneficial when combining bioremediation and desalination, as the salt concentration varies. Our preliminary live cell image analysis indicated the significant survival of representative salt-tolerant hydrocarbon degraders subjected to over 5% salinity stresses in the presence of hydrocarbons, which potentially suggests the feasibility of developing hybrid bioremediation and desalination strategies for oilfield site remediation. Our study has continuously advanced to exploring the compatibility of the characterized salt-tolerant hydrocarbon-degraders (bioremediation agent) with the positively and negatively charged minerals for desalination.