Isolation of a Coal-Degrading Bacterial Consortia and Biosolubilization of Coal Wates

Document Type : Original Articles


1 Research Institute of Petroleum, ACECR, Shahid Beheshti Branch, Tehran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University

3 Department of Pulp and Paper Technology Faculty of New Technologies and Energy, Shahid Beheshti University


Screening experiments were carried out to isolate bacterial strains capable of solubilizing coal tailings for use in biofuel production from these byproduct wastes. Using enrichment in medium containing coal as sole carbon source, seven bacterial strains able to grow on coal hydrocarbons were isolated. The bacterial consortium was then cultured in mineral salt liquid media containing 1% (w/v) hard coal or coal tailings and incubated for 15 days at 25 degree centigrade on an orbital shaker (150 rpm). Spectrophotometric analysis of supernatants resulted from centrifugation of cultures showed 1.475 increases in absorbance at 450 nm for coal tailing and 0.832 for hard coal, compared to blank lacking bacteria. Gravimetric measurements also performed wich confirmed the solubilization of coal by bacteria.