Degradation of waste cooking oil from bacteria.

Waste cooking oil (WCO) is the bio-based material produced from renewable feedstock and emerged as a major issue in waste management. It is generated in huge amount in large scale all over the world. Human health is greatly affected by the negative impact of unreasonable deposition of WCO which is imparted in the environment.

A large amount of animal fats and waste cooking oils is produced by developing countries. India has a population of over a billion people generate organic waste and used cooking oil every day. Cooking oil generated in huge quantities from large restaurants, cafeterias, fast-food networks and dining rooms etc. Disposal of waste cooking oil causes environmental damages due to which oily films form over aquatic surfaces, which causes the disturbance in oxygen diffusion and clogging (organic matter emulsification). Degradation of waste cooking oil is a major challenge because it contaminates land and water resources. Some of the percentages of waste cooking oil are used as additives in domestic animals feedstock and soap preparation etc. but a major part of it is discharged into rivers, drainage system and landfills causing environmental pollution.

Vegetable oils and fats are mixtures of triacylglycerols which is composed of fatty acids and glycerol. Vegetable oil spills are becoming frequent and more challenging nowadays. Oil spill can spread fast between the land and water bodies, coming in contact with a plant, animals and human beings. Vegetable oils comprised primarily of triacylglycerols or fatty acids, which, in their fresh state, may be broken down by yeast, bacteria and fungi. This breakdown is as a result of lipases, a class of hydrolases primarily responsible for hydrolysis of acylglycerides.

Many microorganisms for example molds, bacteria, yeasts and a few protozoa are acquainted with produce lipase for the digestion of lipid substances. These organisms secrete real sources of lipase with specific features and different enzymological properties but bacteria are known as potent lipase producer. Lipase mainly isolated from spoiled food material and soil that contain vegetable oil. Vegetable oil spills are becoming more common and are possibly more challenging than hydrocarbon spills. Oil spill can distribute quickly between water bodies and the land, coming in contact with plants, animals and human being. Therefore microorganisms are useful in protecting the environment.

Ritika Joshi

Ritika Joshi is a PhD scholar in Microbiology Dept. of Bioscience and Biotech, Banasthali Vidyapith


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