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Environmental science and pollution research international

Effect of modified montmorillonites on the biodegradation and adsorption of biomarkers such as hopanes, steranes and diasteranes.


PMID 23749373

Abstract

The effect of modified montmorillonites on the biodegradation and adsorption of selected steranes, diasteranes and hopanes was investigated in aqueous clay/oil microcosm experiments with a hydrocarbon degrading microorganism community. The unmodified montmorillonite was treated with didecyldimethylammonium bromide, hydrochloric acid and the relevant metallic chloride to produce organomontmorillonite, acid activated montmorillonite and homoionic montmorillonite respectively which were used in this study. The study indicated that organomontmorillonite, acid activated montmorillonite and potassium montmorillonite did not support the biodegradation of the selected steranes, diasteranes and hopanes as alteration of the biomarkers via biodegradation varied from a paltry 2-6 %. The adsorption of the selected biomarkers on acid activated montmorillonite and organomontmorillonite was also poor. However, adsorption of the biomarkers on potassium montmorillonite was relatively high. Sodium montmorillonite and unmodified montmorillonite appear to stimulate the biodegradation of the selected biomarkers moderately (30-35 %) with adsorption occurring at low level. Calcium montmorillonite and ferric montmorillonite effected significant biodegradation (51-60 %) of the selected biomarkers.

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