The biodegradation of cable oil components: impact of oil concentration, nutrient addition and bioaugmentation

Marcie G. Towell, Graeme I. Paton, Kirk T. Semple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of cable oil concentration, nutrient amendment and bioaugmentation on cable oil component biodegradation in a pristine agricultural soil was investigated. Biodegradation potential was evaluated over 21 d by measuring cumulative CO2 respiration on a Micro-Oxymax respirometer and C-14-phenyldodecane mineralisation using a C-14-respirometric assay. Cable oil concentration had a significant effect upon oil biodegradation. Microbial respiratory activity increased with increasing cable oil concentration, whereas C-14-phenydodecane mineralisation decreased. Bioaugmentation achieved the best cable oil biodegradation performance, resulting in increases in cumulative CO2 respiration, and maximum rates and extents of C-14-phenyldodecane mineralisation. Generally, nutrient amendment also enhanced cable oil biodegradation, but not to the extent that degrader amendment did. Cable oil biodegradation was a function of (i) cable oil concentration and (ii) catabolic ability of microbial populations. Bioaugmentation may enhance cable oil biodegradation, and is dependent upon composition, cell number and application of catabolic inocula to soil. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3777-3783
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number12
Early online date27 Aug 2011
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • cable oil
  • biodegradation
  • phenyldodecane
  • nutrients
  • bioaugmentation and mineralisation
  • contaminated soils
  • natural attenuation
  • chemical-structure
  • insulating oil
  • diesel fuel
  • bioremediation
  • mineralization
  • biostimulation
  • hydrocarbons
  • degradation


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