The potency of biosurfactant–producing bacteria isolated from oil-contaminated coast, Belawan North Sumatera, in the degradation of hydrocarbon compound such as naphthalene has been studied. Thirteen isolates has been obtained using Bushnell Haas Agar containing 2% naphthalene as the sole carbon source. The bacterial growth was observed using Standard Plate Count method. The ability of each isolates to produce bioactive-surface compound was determined. A drop-collapsing test was performed to examine the activity of each biosurfactant. All isolates tested grew well in Bushnell Haas Broth medium. Among those, two isolates were able to remove almost all (99%) naphthalene from the medium during 15 days. Those two isolates have also shown highest concentration of biosurfactant production which is 75.180 ppm.

Keywords: local isolates, biosurfactant, naphthalene degradation.

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