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Insights into rhamnolipid amendment towards enhancing microbial electrochemical treatment of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soil

TitleInsights into rhamnolipid amendment towards enhancing microbial electrochemical treatment of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soil
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsAmbaye, T.G., Formicola F., Sbaffoni Silvia, Franzetti A., and Vaccari M.

Environmental pollution by hydrophobic hydrocarbons is increasing, notably nowadays due to a large amount of industrial activity. Microbial electrochemical technologies (MET) are promising bio-based systems which can oxidize hydrophobic hydrocarbon pollutants and produce bioelectricity simultaneously. However, MET faces some issues in terms of soil remediation, including low mass transfer, limited electro-activity of anodes as electron acceptors, low bioavailability of hydrocarbons, and the limited activity of beneficial bacteria and inefficient electron transport. This study aims to investigate the role of the addition of rhamnolipid as an analyte solution to the MET to enhance the efficacy and concurrently solve the abovementioned issues. In this regard, a novel long chain of RL was produced by using low-cost carbon winery waste through non-pathogenic Burkholderia thailandensis E264 strains. Different doses of RL were tested, including 10, 50, and 100 mg/L. A maximum enhancement in the oxidation of hydrophobic hydrocarbons was found to be up to 72.5%, while the current density reached 9.5 Am-2 for the MET reactor having a dose of 100 mg/L. The biosurfactants induced a unique microbial enrichment associated with Geobacter, Desulfovibrio, Klebsiella, and Comamona on the anode surface, as well as Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, and Franconibacter in soil MET, indicating the occurrence of a metabolic pathway in microbes working with the anode and soil bioelectrochemical remediation system. According to cyclic voltammetry analysis, redox peaks appeared, showing a minor shift in redox MET-biosurfactant compared to the bare MET system. Furthermore, the phytotoxicity of polluted soil to L. sativum seeds after and before MET remediation shows a decrease in phytotoxicity of 77.5% and 5% for MET-biosurfactant system and MET only, respectively. With MET as a tool, this study confirmed for the first time that novel long-chain RL produced from non-Pseudomonas bacteria could remarkably facilitate the degradation of petroleum hydrocarbon via extracellular electron transfer, which provides novel insights to understand the mechanisms of RL regulating petroleum hydrocarbon degradation. © 2022 Elsevier Ltd


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Citation KeyAmbaye2022