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Characterization of pyrene and chrysene degradation by halophilic Hortaea sp. B15. Al Farraj Dunia A,Hadibarata Tony,Yuniarto Adhi,Syafiuddin Achmad,Surtikanti Hertien Koosbandiah,Elshikh Mohamed Soliman,Al Khulaifi Manal M,Al-Kufaidy Roua Bioprocess and biosystems engineering Polycyclic aromatics hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitous and toxic pollutants that are dangerous to humans and living organism in aquatic environment. Normally, PAHs has lower molecular weight such as phenanthrene and naphthalene that are easy and efficient to degrade, but high-molecular-weight PAHs such as chrysene and pyrene are difficult to be biodegraded by common microorganism. This study investigated the isolation and characterization of a potential halophilic bacterium capable of utilizing two high-molecular-weight PAHs. At the end of the experiment (25-30 days of incubation), bacterial counts have reached a maximum level (over 40 × 10 CFU/mL). The highest biodegradation rate of 77% of chrysene in 20 days and 92% of pyrene in 25 days was obtained at pH 7, temperature 25 °C, agitation of 150 rpm and Tween 80 surfactant showing to be the most impressive parameters for HMWPAHs biodegradation in this research. The metabolism of initial compounds revealed that Hortaea sp. B15 utilized pyrene to form phthalic acid while chrysene was metabolized to form 1-hydroxy-2-naphthoic acid. The result showed that Hortaea sp. B15 can be promoted for the study of in situ biodegradation of high molecular weight PAH. 10.1007/s00449-019-02096-8