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Enzymes' Journey to Remediate Conventional and Unconventional Oils
Canada is the world’s fourth-largest producer of petroleum in 2020 and the largest supplier of crude oil imports to the United States using transmission pipelines and train rails. Mainly, crude oils are classified into conventional and unconventional oil that can be categorized into the following groups: heavy oil, extra-heavy oil, oil sand (bitumen), and oil shale (Kerogen). The behaviour of conventional and unconventional oil in terms of ecotoxicity and biodegradation might be different in aquatic and terrestrial environments. A multiplication of factors including aging and densification of pipeline networks and increased rail transport is not always adequate cars have increased the risk levels of high-impact oil spills and catastrophic emergencies have occurred. When petroleum hydrocarbons are released into the environment, they can lead to serious human and ecosystem hazards necessitating urgent clean-ups. Following the rapid response to oil spills to protect people, property, and the environment, a series of physicochemical techniques, such as chemical oxidation, extraction, washing, and microbial biosorption has been developed for soil and water remediation. Bioremediation is a green technology that uses microorganisms or microbial enzymes to degrade and detoxify environmental contaminants. However, the limitations and challenges for petroleum hydrocarbon bioremediation in contaminated sites remain at large. Further research and advances are required to determine which method is more effective for the biodegradation of petroleum contaminants. Recently, biosurfactant and degradative enzymes mediated oil degradation have attracted significant attention in recent years from researchers, to overcome issues regarding the limited bioavailability of soil-bound hydrocarbons and slow rate of bioremediation for recalcitrant fractions in the environment.

Jan 26, 2023 09:00 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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