Diagnostic hydrocarbon pollution in Veracruz beaches and airlift bioreactor as suggestion of remediation

  • E. J. Sandoval-Herazo
  • V. Saucedo-Rivalcoba
  • B. Gutiérrez-Rivera
  • R. Hernández-Martínez
  • M. A. Lizardi-Jiménez
Keywords: Hydrocarbon, Airlift bioreactor, Remediation, Veracruz, nitrogen source


The aim of the study was identified pollution by hydrocarbons in the beaches adjacent of the port of Veracruz and propose an alternative to bioremediation. Carried out monitoring in the mouths of May and July of 2018, in the water of the beaches near the port of Veracruz, where hydrocarbons were found such as tetracosane (0.24 ± 0.01 mg L-1) and benzo(a)pyrene (2.05 ± 1.02 mg L-1). For remediation was proposed an airlift bioreactor, in a medium formed by seawater and a nitrogen source, where suspended solids increased until 1.95 ± 0.02 g L-1, diesel fell 98% of its initial concentration (1.5 g L-1), emulsifying activity reached a value of 1.07 ± 0.01 AE mL-1 and initial droplet size was 1283.83 ± 76.02 nm and decreased to 677.63 ± 20.28 nm. Also, the bioreactor was assessed without a nitrogen source, suspended solids dropped until 0.02 ± 0.01 g L-1, diesel fell 10%, emulsifying activity reached a value of 1.42 ± 0.06 AE mL-1 and droplet size dropped from 1361.54 ± 7.55 nm to 974.32 ±14.18 nm. The results showed that the bioreactor with nitrogen source is able biodegrade the hydrocarbons found. 


Alabresm, A., Chen, Y. P., Decho, A. W. y Lead, J. (2018). A novel method for the synergistic remediation of oil-water mixtures using nanoparticles and oil-degrading bacteria. Science of the Total Environment, 630, 1292–1297. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.277

Attwood, D., Mallon, C., Ktistis, G. y Taylor, C. J. (1992). A study on factors influencing the droplet size in nonionic oil-in-water microemulsions. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 88(1–3), 417–422. https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-5173(92)90341-X

Avendaño, O., Salas-Monreal, D., Anis, A., Salas-de Leon, D. A. y Monreal-Gomez, M. A. (2019). Monthly surface hydrographical variability in a coral reef system under the influence of river discharges. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 222, 53–65. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2019.04.012

Boran, M. (2017). Pollution of marine envioronment by ship. Cercetari Marine, (47), 244–248.
Botello V., A.y Vélez Ponce, G. (2005). Niveles de Hidrocarburos en el Golfo de México. Golfo de México, Contaminación e Impacto Ambiental: Diagnóstico y Tendencias. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.2567.9206

Chu, K. H. y Alvarez-Cohen, L. (1998). Effect of nitrogen source on growth and trichloroethylene degradation by methane-oxidizing bacteria. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 64(9), 3451–3457.

Cisneros-de la cueva, S., Martínez-Prado, M. A., López-Miranda, J., Rojas-Contreras, J. A., & Medrano-Roldan, H. (2016). Aerobic degradation of diesel by a pure culture of Aspergillus terreus. Revista Mexicana de Ingeniería Química, 15, 347–360. http://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=62046829005%0AHow
DATATUR. (2018). Datatur3 – Actividad Hotelera. Disponible en: https://www.datatur.sectur.gob.mx/SitePages/ActividadHotelera.aspx. accesado: 19 de julio 2019.

Fuentes, S., Méndez, V., Aguila, P. y Seeger, M. (2014). Bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons: Catabolic genes, microbial communities, and applications. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 98(11), 4781–4794. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-014-5684-9

García-Cruz, N. U., Valdivia-Rivera, S., Narciso-Ortiz, L., García-Maldonado, J. Q., Uribe-Flores, M. M., Aguirre-Macedo, M. L. y Lizardi-Jiménez, M. A. (2019). Diesel uptake by an indigenous microbial consortium isolated from sediments of the Southern Gulf of Mexico: Emulsion characterisation. Environmental Pollution, 250, 849–855. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.04.109

Gold-Bouchot, G., Rubio-piña, J., Montero-Muñoz, J., Ramirez-Miss, N., Echeverría-García, A., Patiño-Suarez, V. y Zapata-Pérez, O. (2017). Pollutants and biomarker responses in two reef fish species (Haemulon aurolineatum and Ocyurus chrysurus) in the Southern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 116(1–2), 249–257. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.12.073

Hayasaka-Ramírez, S. y Ortiz-Lozano, L. (2014). Anthropogenic pressure indicators associated with vessel groundings on coral reefs in a marine protected area. Ciencias Marinas, 20(4), 237–249. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0080-623420140000500022

Huang, W., Wang, Z. y Yan, W. (2012). Distribution and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments from Zhanjiang Bay and Leizhou Bay, South China. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 64(9), 1962–1969. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.05.023

Igwo-Ezikpe, M. N., Gbenle, O. G., Ilori, M. O., Okpuzor, J. y Osuntoki, A. A. (2010). High molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons biodegradation by bacteria isolated from contaminated soils in Nigeria. Environmental Sciences, 4(2), 127–137.

Jiménez-González, A., Vargas-García, V., Lizardi-Jiménez, M. A. y Medina-Moreno, S. A. (2015). Evaluation of polyaromatic hydrocarbon and oxygen volumetric transfer coefficient on multi-phase system (liquid-liquid and liquid-liquid-gas): biocompatible solvent charge effect. Revista Mexicana de Ingeniería Química, 14(3), 723–734.

Joye, S. B., Bracco, A., Özgökmen, T. M., Chanton, J. P., Grosell, M., MacDonald, I. R. y Passow, U. (2016). The Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, six years after the Macondo oil well blowout. Deep-Sea Research Part II, 129, 4–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.04.018

Kar, Y., Dilek, S. y Yalman, Y. (2018). Characterization of light diesel fraction obtained from upgraded heavy oil. Egyptian Journal of Petroleum, 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpe.2018.08.001

Khalili, N. R., Scheff, P. A. y Holsen, T. M. (1995). Source fingerprints for coke ovens, diesel and gasoline engines, highway tunnels, and wood combustion emissions. Atmospheric Environment, 29(4), 533–542.

Kleindienst, S., Paul, J. H. y Joye, S. B. (2015). Using dispersants after oil spills: Impacts on the composition and activity of microbial communities. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 13(6), 388–396. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro3452

León-Borges, J.-A. y Lizardi-Jiménez, M. A. (2017). Hydrocarbon pollution in underwater sinkholes of the Mexican Caribbean caused by tourism and asphalt: Historical data series and cluster analysis. Tourism Management, 63, 179–186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2017.06.018

Li, X., Zheng, R., Zhang, X., Liu, Z., Zhu, R., Zhang, X. y Gao, D. (2019). A novel exoelectrogen from microbial fuel cell: Bioremediation of marine petroleum hydrocarbon pollutants. Journal of Environmental Management, 235(March 2018), 70–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.01.007

Lizardi-Jiménez, M. A., y Gutiérrez-Rojas, M. (2011). Assessment of the local hydrodynamic zones in a three - phase airlift reactor: Looking for the lowest liquid - phase Re. Revista Mexicana de Ingeniería Química, 10(1), 59 65. https://doi.org/10.4090/juee.2008.v2n2.033040

Lizardi-Jiménez, M. A., Leal-Bautista, R. M., Ordaz, A. y Reyna-Velarde, R. (2015). Airlift bioreactors for hydrocarbon water pollution remediation in a tourism development pole. Desalination and Water Treatment, 54(1), 44–49. https://doi.org/10.1080/19443994.2013.876670

Machain-Castillo, M. L., Ruiz-Fernández, A. C., Gracia, A., Sanchez-Cabeza, J. A., Rodríguez-Ramírez, A., Alexander-Valdés, H. M. y Hollander, D. J. (2019). Natural and anthropogenic oil impacts on benthic foraminifera in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Environmental Research, 149(June), 111–125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2019.06.006

Martínez-Prado, M. A., & Soto-Álvarez, C. E. (2017). Removal of petroleum hydrocarbons from a low permeability. Revista Mexicana de Ingeniería Química, 16, 955–970.

Maydeu-Olivares, A. y Garcia-Forero, C. (2010). Goodness-of-Fit Testing Author. International Encyclopedia of Education, 7, 190–196.

Medina-Moreno, S. A., Jiménez-González, A., Gutiérrez-Rojas, M., y Lizardi-Jiménez, M. A. (2013). Hexadecane aqueous emulsion characterization and uptake by an oil-degrading microbial consortium. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, 84, 1–7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibiod.2013.05.018

Medina-Moreno, S. A., Jiménez-González, A., Gutiérrez-Rojas, M., y Lizardi-Jiménez, M. A. (2014). Hydrocarbon pollution studies of underwater sinkholes along Quintana Roo as a function of tourism development in the Mexican Caribbean. Revista Mexicana de Ingeniería Química, 13, 509–516. http://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=62031508013

Melgarejo-Torres, R., De la Concha-Gómez, A. D., Calva-Hernández, R. y Lizardi-Jiménez, M. A. (2017). Study of variation in droplet size of an aqueous–diesel emulsion formed by an oil-degrading microbial consortium. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 157, 951–957. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2017.08.011

Nápoles Álvarez, J., Ábalos Rodríguez, A., Rodríguez Pérez, S., Sánchez-Vázquez, V. y Gutiérrez-Rojas, M. (2017). Airlift bioreactor using a bacterial mixed culture improves hydrocarbon degradation in contaminated salty water. Desalination and Water Treatment, 86(October), 28–34. https://doi.org/10.5004/dwt.2017.21307

Noboa, G., Márquez, L. y López, J.-C. (2017). Tamaño de gota: Factor determinante sobre la velocidad de clarificación de una emulsión o / w. Ciencia e Ingeniería, 38(3), 259–264.

Ortega-de la Rosa, N. D., Vázquez-Vázquez, J. L., Huerta-Ochoa, S., Gimeno, M. y Gutiérrez-Rojas, M. (2018). Stable bioemulsifiers are produced by Acinetobacter bouvetii UAM25 growing in different carbon sources. Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering, 41(6), 859–869. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00449-018-1920-5

Ortiz-Salinas, R., Cram, S. y Sommer, I. (2012). Hidrocarburos aromáticos policíclicos (HAPs) en suelos de la llanura aluvial baja del estado de Tabasco, México. Universidad y Ciencia, 28(2), 131–144. https://doi.org/10.19136/era.a28n2.21

Rodríguez-Gómez, C. F., Aké-Castillo, J. A. y Campos-Bautista, G. (2013). Productividad primaria bruta y respiración planctónica en el parque nacional sistema arrecifal veracruzano. Hidrobiologica, 23(2), 143–153.

Ruiz-Fernández, A. C., Betancourt Portela, J. M., Sericano, J. L., Sanchez-Cabeza, J. A., Espinosa, L. F., Cardoso-Mohedano, J. G. y Garay Tinoco, J. A. (2016). Coexisting sea-based and land-based sources of contamination by PAHs in the continental shelf sediments of Coatzacoalcos River discharge area (Gulf of Mexico). Chemosphere, 144, 591–598. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.08.081

Sabnis, S. y Juvale, V. (2016). Enrichment and Isolation of Biosurfactant Producers from Marine Environment. Int.J.Curr.Microbiol.App.Sci., 5(4), 730–740. http://dx.doi.org/10.20546/ijcmas.2016.504.084

Sánchez-Vázquez, V., Shirai, K., González, I. y Gutiérrez-Rojas, M. (2017). Fungal biocatalyst activated by an electric field: Improved mass transfer and non-specificity for hydrocarbon degradation in an airlift bioreactor. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 337, 62–71. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2017.05.001

Tancell, P. J., Rhead, M. M., Trier, C. J., Bell, M. A. y Fussey, D. E. (1995). The sources of benzo[a]pyrene in diesel exhaust emissions. Science of the Total Environment, 162(2–3), 179–186. https://doi.org/10.1016/0048-9697(95)04453-8

Tiselius, P. y Magnusson, K. (2017). Toxicity of treated bilge water: The need for revised regulatory control. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 114(2), 860–866. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.11.010

Tomaszewska, M., Orecki, A. y Karakulski, K. (2005). Treatment of bilge water using a combination of ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis. Desalination, 185(1–3), 203–212. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.desal.2005.03.078

Tormoehlen, L. M., Tekulve, K. J. y Nañagas, K. A. (2014). Hydrocarbon toxicity: A review. Clinical Toxicology, 52(5), 479–489. https://doi.org/10.3109/15563650.2014.923904

Turner, N. R. y Renegar, D. A. (2017). Petroleum hydrocarbon toxicity to corals: A review. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 119(2), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.04.050

Tzintzun-Camacho, O., Loera, O., Ramírez-Saad, H. C. y Gutiérrez-Rojas, M. (2012). Comparison of mechanisms of hexadecane uptake among pure and mixed cultures derived from a bacterial consortium. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, 70, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ibiod.2012.01.009

Valdivia-Rivera, S., Varela-Santos, E. del C., Quiñones-Muñoz, T. A., Hernández-Martínez, R. y Lizardi-Jiménez, M. A. (2019). Production of hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms using agricultural residues of Mangifera indica L. and Carica papaya as carbon source. 3 Biotech, 9(2), 0. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13205-019-1574-2

Vidali, M. K. (2011). Bioremediation - An overview. Journal of Industrial Pollution Control, 27(2), 161–168. https://doi.org/10.1351/pac200173071163

Whang, L. M., Liu, P. W. G., Ma, C. C. y Cheng, S. S. (2008). Application of biosurfactants, rhamnolipid, and surfactin, for enhanced biodegradation of diesel-contaminated water and soil. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 151(1), 155–163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2007.05.063

Yang, S. dong, Tang, T., Tan, Y. meng, Wang, F. yun, Zhang, W. bing, Li, T. y Xia, M. zhu. (2019). Determination of benzo(a)pyrene in fried and baked foods by HPLC combined with vesicular coacervative supramolecular solvent extraction. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 56(1), 428–435. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-018-3504-4

Zeppieri, S., Ramírez, Y., Molina, J. y De Ramos, A. L. L. (2009). Estudio experimental de la tensión interfacial transitoria para sistemas alcanos-agua-triton X-100 empleando la técnica de la gota emergente. Informacion Tecnologica, 20(6), 125–135. https://doi.org/10.1612/inf.tecnol.4119it.08
How to Cite
Sandoval-Herazo, E., Saucedo-Rivalcoba, V., Gutiérrez-Rivera, B., Hernández-Martínez, R., & Lizardi-Jiménez, M. (2020). Diagnostic hydrocarbon pollution in Veracruz beaches and airlift bioreactor as suggestion of remediation. Revista Mexicana De Ingeniería Química, 19(3), 1227-1241. https://doi.org/10.24275/rmiq/Bio851

Most read articles by the same author(s)