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Influence Of Anionic, Cationic And Non-Ionic Surfactants On Growth Of Hydrocarbon Utilizing Bacteria

Chikodili Gladys Anaukwu, Chinyere C. Ezemba, Vivian N. Anakwenze, Kingsley C. Agu, Amechi S. Nwankwegu, Benjamin C. Okeke, Nsikak S. Awah


The effects of named anionic, cationic and non-ionic surfactants on growth of hydrocarbon utilizing bacteria were studied. Hydrocarbon utilizing bacteria were isolated from soil samples collected from different sampling points using mineral salt medium supplemented with hydrocarbon substrates. They were identified based on 16S rDNA sequencing. Hydrocarbons used include crude oil, kerosene, diesel and spent-engine oil. Heterotrophic bacterial count was taken to assess the bacterial count and hydrocarbon utilization of the tested hydrocarbons. Effects of Sodium dodecyl sulphate (anionic surfactant), Cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide(cationic surfactant) and Tween-80 (non-ionic surfactant) surfactants at 0.05 - 0.30 mg/ml concentrations, on growth of the isolates were measured spectrophotometrically. Results obtained showed high bacteria count of 12x103Cfu/ml with spent oil and least (2 x 103Cfu/ml) with diesel. Five bacteria belonging to the genera Micrococcus, Serratia, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus and Bacillus were isolated. Tween-80 stimulated the growth of all the isolates. While SDS stimulated growth of Micrococcus luteus, Staphylococcus scuiri and Bacillus cereus, it reduced the growth of  Serratia marcescens and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. CTAB was observed to improve the growth of only Pseudomonas aeruginosa. and inhibited the growth of other isolates. Statistical analysis indicates that there was significant difference on the effects of the surfactants on the growth of the isolates with p-value < 0.0001. Surface active agents increases or inhibits microbial growth at certain concentration. The use of surfactant in biostimulation of hydrocarbon degrading microorganisms is recommended. Study on the correct concentration required for growth of the microorganisms should be conducted for its efficiency and effectiveness.


Anionic surfactant; cationic surfactant; non-ionic surfactant; microbial growth; hydrocarbon utilization

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