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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Jun 27;223(2):301-7.

Deep desulfurization of hydrodesulfurization-treated diesel oil by a facultative thermophilic bacterium Mycobacterium sp. X7B.

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State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, PR China.


The dibenzothiophene (DBT) desulfurization pathway of a facultative thermophilic bacterium Mycobacterium sp. X7B was investigated. Metabolites were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and the results showed that 2-hydroxybiphenyl, the end product of the previously reported sulfur-specific pathway (also called 4S pathway), was further converted to 2-methoxybiphenyl. This is the first strain to possess this ability and therefore, an extended 4S pathway was determined. In addition, the DBT-desulfurizing bacterium Mycobacterium sp. X7B was able to grow on DBT derivatives such as 4-methylDBT and 4,6-dimethylDBT. Resting cells could desulfurize diesel oil (total sulfur, 535 ppm) after hydrodesulfurization. GC flame ionization detection and GC atomic emission detection analyses were used to qualitatively evaluate the effect of Mycobacterium sp. X7B treatment on the content of the diesel oil. The total sulfur content of the diesel oil was reduced 86% using resting cell biocatalysts for 24 h at 45 degrees C.

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