Investigating the concomitant removal of hydrocarbons and heavy metals by highly adapted Bacillus and Pseudomonas strains
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This study investigates the concomitant removal of hydrocarbons and heavy metals by highly adapted Bacillus and Pseudomonas strains. In regions characterized by harsh conditions such as Qatar, the weathering processes would affect the content, status, and distribution of these contaminants. It was shown in the weathered soil from Dukhan oil wastes dumpsite that 14 heavy metals exceeded the EPA limits. Moreover, it was demonstrated that soil organics did not affect the distribution of the metals in the soil. However, most of the heavy metals were strongly bonded to the residual and the iron-manganese oxide fractions. Eighteen bacterial strains isolated from highly weathered oily soils were able to grow with heavy metal concentrations up to 3 mM and above for some. Seven selected strains (4 Bacillus and 3 Pseudomonas) showed the ability to remove almost 60 to 70% of most of the heavy metals when used at 1 mM. Moreover, they removed up to 75% of the diesel range organics. These results are of interest for selecting bacterial strains, which can overcome the toxicity of hydrocarbons and heavy metals and remove them concomitantly.