Decomposition of gasoline hydrocarbons by natural microorganisms in Japanese soils

Junko Nishiwaki, Yoshishige Kawabe, Takeshi Komai, Ming Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Characterizing the mechanisms by which natural microorganisms in soil decompose gasoline hydrocarbons is of fundamental importance for a better understanding of natural attenuation and/or for predicting contaminant transport and fate in soils. To examine whether and how gasoline hydrocarbons can be decomposed under general environmental conditions, the decomposition of 10 major components generally contained in commercially available gasoline was analyzed in three arbitrarily selected Japanese soil samples. Gasoline hydrocarbons, especially aromatic hydrocarbons, are easily adsorbed by the tested Japanese soils, with straight chain hydrocarbons decomposing faster than branched hydrocarbons. Saturated monocyclic hydrocarbons were less easily decomposed than unsaturated monocyclic hydrocarbons. Enhancement of microbial decomposition of gasoline hydrocarbons requires a continuous supply of oxygen together with nutrients for the microorganisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Batch experiment
  • Fate of gasoline hydrocarbons
  • Microbial decomposition
  • Natural attenuation
  • Soil contamination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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