Cultures of oil-degrading bacteria

Cultures of oil-degrading bacteria

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Credit: JERRY MASON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Biotechnology. Cultures of oil-degrading bacteria under evaluation as part of a research project to develop microbially-enhanced oil recovery methods. Researchers hope to breed strains of chemical- producing bacteria, which can survive in the high temperatures & pressures of oil reservoirs. Several different bacterial chemicals are envisaged: surfactants & solvents to lower the viscosity of the oil; viscous polymers to block porous "thief zones" where oil is lost; fermentation gases to clean debris from blocked wells and soluble polymers to thicken the water pumped into a reservoir, making it more effective at sweeping the oil towards a production well.

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Keywords: application, applied, bacteria, bacteria contrl, biotechnology research, culture, genetic, genetics, oil eating, oil pollution, oil recovery research, oil-eating, oil-eating bacteria

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