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Petroleum: From Basic Features to Hydrocarbons Bioremediation in Oceans

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1102136    838 Downloads   1,803 Views   Citations


This review provides a general overview of petroleum characteristics and bioremediation strategies applications in oceanic environments contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons during exploration and transportation processes offshore. The vast oil reserves in the offshore fields have been explored for the production of light and heavy oil. The hydrocarbons exhibit very different physicochemical characteristics including those of hydrophobicity, molecular weight, melting and boiling points, toxicity and recalcitrance. This review is to highlight the basic oil characteristics, and to reveal the manner in which accidents can occur resulting in oil spills in the sea. We focus on hydrocarbon degradation through the application of bioremediation techniques, because this is considered more advantageous economically compared with the physical or chemical remediation techniques, as well as being more effective in contaminant removal. This study provides knowledge about strategies that can be applied in accidents involving oil spill on the ocean and thus boosts oil spill cleanup technology and lowers the environmental risks of offshore management of activities with petroleum.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Rodrigues, E. and Tótola, M. (2015) Petroleum: From Basic Features to Hydrocarbons Bioremediation in Oceans. Open Access Library Journal, 2, 1-17. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1102136.


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