, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 661–671 | Cite as

Biodegradation of diesel fuel by a microbial consortium in the presence of 1-alkoxymethyl-2-methyl-5-hydroxypyridinium chloride homologues

  • Łukasz Chrzanowski
  • Monika Stasiewicz
  • Mikołaj Owsianiak
  • Alicja Szulc
  • Agnieszka Piotrowska-Cyplik
  • Agnieszka K. Olejnik-Schmidt
  • Bogdan Wyrwas
Original Paper


Fast development of ionic liquids as gaining more and more attention valuable chemicals will undoubtedly lead to environmental pollution. New formulations and application of ionic liquids may result in contamination in the presence of hydrophobic compounds, such as petroleum mixtures. We hypothesize that in the presence of diesel fuel low-water-soluble ionic liquids may become more toxic to hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms. In this study the influence of 1-alkoxymethyl-2-methyl-5-hydroxypyridinium chloride homologues (side-chain length from C3 to C18) on biodegradation of diesel fuel by a bacterial consortium was investigated. Whereas test performed for the consortium cultivated on disodium succinate showed that toxicity of the investigated ionic liquids decreased with increase in side-chain length, only higher homologues (C8–C18) caused a decrease in diesel fuel biodegradation. As a result of exposure to toxic compounds also modification in cell surface hydrophobicity was observed (MATH). Disulphine blue active substances method was employed to determine partitioning index of ionic liquids between water and diesel fuel phase, which varied from 1.1 to 51% for C3 and C18 homologues, respectively. We conclude that in the presence of hydrocarbons acting as a solvent, the increased bioavailability of hydrophobic homologues is responsible for the decrease in biodegradation efficiency of diesel fuel.


Biodegradation DBAS Diesel fuel Hydrocarbons Microbial consortium Ionic liquids Toxicity 



Isolation and identification of microbial consortium was supported from Grant No. N N305 035434 Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, years 2008–2010. We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Łukasz Chrzanowski
    • 1
  • Monika Stasiewicz
    • 1
  • Mikołaj Owsianiak
    • 2
  • Alicja Szulc
    • 1
  • Agnieszka Piotrowska-Cyplik
    • 3
  • Agnieszka K. Olejnik-Schmidt
    • 4
  • Bogdan Wyrwas
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Chemical Technology and EngineeringPoznan University of TechnologyPoznańPoland
  2. 2.Department of Environmental EngineeringTechnical University of DenmarkKongens LyngbyDenmark
  3. 3.Institute of Food Technology of Plant OriginPoznan University of Life SciencesPoznańPoland
  4. 4.Department of Biotechnology and Food MicrobiologyPoznan University of Life SciencesPoznańPoland
  5. 5.Institute of ChemistryPoznan University of TechnologyPoznańPoland

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