Degradation of diesel, a component of ANFO, by bacteria selected from an open cast coal mine in La Guajira, Colombia
- Tesis/Trabajos de Grado 
Five bacterial strains were isolated from an open cast coal mine located in La Guajira Colombia. The isolates had previously been characterized and identified as Pseudomonas sp and Pseudomonas stutzeri. The explosive ANFO, composed of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel, is used for detonation processes in coal mining operations. Degradation of the second component of ANFO, which is diesel, by the five isolates and by a consortium was evaluated. Strains were cultured on a minimal salts medium with diesel as the only carbon source. Bacterial growth was monitored during 43 days. The biodegradation of diesel was determined by gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector. All five strains, as well as the consortium, showed a decrease in the total area under the hydrocarbon peaks, suggesting the removal of diesel components. Biodegradation efficiency was 96% for the consortium, individual strains also had high levels of biodegradation efficiency. These results suggest that these bacteria are useful candidates for diesel bioremediation.