Isolation and Characterisation of 1-Alkyl-3- Methylimidazolium Chloride Ionic Liquid-Tolerant and Biodegrading Marine Bacteria

Julianne Megaw, Alessandro Busetti, Brendan F. Gilmore

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to isolate and identify marine-derived bacteria which exhibited high tolerance to, and an ability to biodegrade, 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ionic liquids. The salinity and hydrocarbon load of some marine environments may induce selective pressures which enhance the ability of microbes to grow in the presence of these liquid salts. The isolates obtained in this study generally showed a greater ability to grow in the presence of the selected ionic liquids compared to microorganisms described previously, with two marine-derived bacteria, Rhodococcus erythropolis and Brevibacterium sanguinis growing in concentrations exceeding 1 M 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride. The ability of these bacteria to degrade the selected ionic liquids was assessed using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), and three were shown to degrade the selected ionic liquids by up to 59% over a 63-day test period. These bacterial isolates represent excellent candidates for further potential applications in the bioremediation of ionic liquid-containing waste or following accidental environmental exposure.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere60806
Number of pages9
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2013

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