Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Daniel Cassidy

Second Advisor

Dr. Duane Hampton

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan Kehew

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Crude oil refining operations conducted by the Crystal Refining Company in Carson City, Michigan have led to the contamination of the soil and groundwater at Carson City Park with petroleum hydrocarbons. In situ biosurfactant production, occurring as a result of the biodegradation activities of hydrocarbon degrading microorganisms, was investigated.

Background hydrogeological and biogeochemical data were collected from the groundwater from thirteen monitoring wells at Carson City Park. Further analysis included the identification of biosurfactant producing microorganisms and biosurfactants present in the soil and groundwater.

Results showed that Pseudomonas aeruginosa was producing both monorhamnolipids and dirhamnolipids (glycolipid biosurfactants) in the contaminated zones of the park. Concentrated groundwater surface tension reductions , produced by the rhamnolipids were measured as low as 29.2 dyn/cm. No biosurfactants were found in the non-contaminated wells.

Included in

Geology Commons