Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department



Hughes, Thomas

Committee Member

Cao , Min

Committee Member

Kurtz , Harry


The ubiquitous contamination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the environment require an economical approach as well as effective remediation techniques in the removal of these contaminants. Through the use of more eco-friendly and economically available biosurfactants, such as saponin, there is a possibility they could prove to be more useful surfactants than conventional synthetic surfactants for the solubilization of fluoranthene (FLA). Enhanced solubility would potentially facilitate the increased degradation by S. paucimobilis EPA505. The addition of laccase produced by Pleurotus ostreatus, a white rot fungus that produces enzymes known to facilitate or assist in the degradation of fluoranthene (FLA), could also be a promising addition to bioremediation efforts. Tween 80 was shown to be a more effective surfactant over saponin; however, with appropriate concentrations of saponin close to its critical micelle concentration (CMC) and under appropriate conditions, saponin could be a viable alternative as a more biodegradable and eco-friendly surfactant. Laccase did not appear to have a significant effect on FLA degradation over a 48-hour period; however, further studies need to be conducted to rule out potential interferences of Tween 80 on laccase activity. These additional studies could help conclusively determine the potential benefit of laccase for use in bioremediation in FLA degradation.

Included in

Microbiology Commons