Paper: Marine biodegradation of crude oil in temperate and Arctic water samples

Kristensen M, Johnsen AR, Christensen JH (2015) Marine biodegradation of crude oil in temperate and Arctic water samples. Journal of Hazardous Materials 300 (2015) 75–83. doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2015.06.046
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Abstract

Despite increased interest in marine oil exploration in the Arctic, little is known about the fate of Arcticoffshore oil pollution. Therefore, in the present study, we examine the oil degradation potential for anArctic site (Disko Bay, Greenland) and discuss this in relation to a temperate site (North Sea, Denmark).Biodegradation was assessed following exposure to Oseberg Blend crude oil (100 mg L−1) in microcosms.Changes in oil hydrocarbon fingerprints of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkyl-substitutedPAHs, dibenzothiophenes, n-alkanes and alkyltoluenes were measured by gas chromatography-massspectrometry (GC–MS). In the Disko Bay sample, the degradation order was n-alkanes > alkyltoluenes(para- > meta- > ortho-isomers) > PAHs and dibenzothiophenes, whereas, the degradation order in theNorth Sea samples was PAHs and dibenzothiophenes > alkyltoluenes > n-alkanes. These differences indegradation patterns significantly affect the environmental risk of oil spills and emphasise the need toconsider the specific environmental conditions when conducting risk assessments of Arctic oil pollution.

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