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Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2009 Sep;83(3):318-27. doi: 10.1007/s00128-009-9770-0. Epub 2009 May 19.

Biodegradation of international jet A-1 aviation fuel by microorganisms isolated from aircraft tank and joint hydrant storage systems.

Author information

1
University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria. allyoung2001@yahoo.com

Abstract

Microorganisms contaminating international Jet A-1 aircraft fuel and fuel preserved in Joint Hydrant Storage Tank (JHST) were isolated, characterized and identified. The isolates were Bacillus subtillis, Bacillus megaterium, Flavobacterium oderatum, Sarcina flava, Micrococcus varians, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus brevis. Others included Candida tropicalis, Candida albicans, Saccharomyces estuari, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus, Cladosporium resinae, Penicillium citrinum and Penicillium frequentans. The viable plate count of microorganisms in the Aircraft Tank ranged from 1.3 (+/-0.01) x 104 cfu/mL to 2.2 (+/-1.6) x 104 cfu/mL for bacteria and 102 cfu/mL to 1.68 (+/-0.32) x 103 cfu/mL for fungi. Total bacterial counts of 1.79 (+/-0.2) x 104 cfu/mL to 2.58 (+/-0.04) x 104 cfu/mL and total fungal count of 2.1 (+/-0.1) x 103 cfu/mL to 2.28 (+/-0.5) x 103 cfu/mL were obtained for JHST. Selected isolates were re-inoculated into filter sterilized aircraft fuels and biodegradation studies carried out. After 14 days incubation, Cladosporium resinae exhibited the highest degradation rate with a percentage weight loss of 66 followed by Candida albicans (60.6) while Penicillium citrinum was the least degrader with a weight loss of 41.6%. The ability of the isolates to utilize the fuel as their sole source of carbon and energy was examined and found to vary in growth profile between the isolates. The results imply that aviation fuel could be biodegraded by hydrocarbonoclastic microorganisms. To avert a possible deterioration of fuel quality during storage, fuel pipe clogging and failure, engine component damage, wing tank corrosion and aircraft disaster, efficient routine monitoring of aircraft fuel systems is advocated.

PMID:
19452113
DOI:
10.1007/s00128-009-9770-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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