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Development of Microorganisms With Improved Transport and Biosurfactant Activity for Enhanced Oil Recovery Annual Report

Description: Diverse microorganisms were screened for biosurfactant production and anaerobic growth at elevated salt concentrations to obtain candidates most suitable for microbial oil recovery. Seventy percent of the 205 strains tested, mostly strains of Bacillus mojavensis, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, and Bacillus sonorensis, produced biosurfactants aerobically and 41% of the strains had biosurfactant activity greater than Bacillus mojavensis JF-2, the current candidate for oil recovery. Biosurfactant activity varied with the percentage of the 3-hydroxy-tetradecanoate isomers in the fatty acid portion of the biosurfactant. Changing the medium composition by incorporation of different precursors of 3-hydroxy tetradecanoate increased the activity of biosurfactant. The surface tension and critical micelle concentration of 15 different, biosurfactant-producing Bacillus strains was determined individually and in combination with other biosurfactants. Some biosurfactant mixtures were found to have synergistic effect on surface tension (e.g. surface tension was lowered from 41 to 31 mN/m in some cases) while others had a synergistic effect on CMD-1 values. We compared the transport abilities of spores from three Bacillus strains using a model porous system to study spore recovery and transport. Sand-packed columns were used to select for spores or cells with the best transport abilities through brine-saturated sand. Spores of Bacillus mojavensis strains JF-2 and ROB-2 and a natural recombinant, strain C-9, transported through sand at very high efficiencies. The earliest cells/spores that emerged from the column were re-grown, allowed to sporulate, and applied to a second column. This procedure greatly enhanced the transport of strain C-9. Spores with enhanced transport abilities can be easily obtained and that the preparation of inocula for use in MEOR is feasible. Tertiary oil recovery experiments showed that 10 to 40 mg/l of JF-2 biosurfactant in the presence of 0.1 mM 2,3-butanediol and 1 g/l of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (PHPA) recovered 10-40% of residual oil from Berea …
Date: May 31, 2004
Creator: McInerney, M.J.; Youssef, N.; Fincher, T.; Maudgalya, S. K.; Folmsbee, M. J.; Knapp, R. et al.

Development of Microorganisms With Improved Transport and Biosurfactant Activity for Enhanced Oil Recovery Annual Report: 2003

Description: Biosurfactants enhance hydrocarbon biodegradation by increasing apparent aqueous solubility or affecting the association of the cell with poorly soluble hydrocarbon. Here, we show that a lipopeptide biosurfactant produced by Bacillus mojavensis strain JF-2 mobilized substantial amounts of residual hydrocarbon from sand-packed columns when a viscosifying agent and a low molecular weight alcohol were present. The amount of residual hydrocarbon mobilized depended on the biosurfactant concentration. One pore volume of cell-free culture fluid with 900 mg/l of the biosurfactant, 10 mM 2,3-butanediol and 1000 mg/l of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide polymer mobilized 82% of the residual hydrocarbon. Consistent with the high residual oil recoveries, we found that the bio-surfactant lowered the interfacial tension (IFT) between oil and water by nearly 2 orders of magnitude compared to typical IFT values of 28-29 mN/m. Increasing the salinity increased the IFT with or without 2,3-butanediol present. The lowest interfacial tension observed was 0.1 mN/m. The lipopeptide biosurfactant system may be effective in removing hydrocarbon contamination sources in soils and aquifers and for the recovery of entrapped oil from low production oil reservoirs. Previously, we reported that Proteose peptone was necessary for anaerobic growth and biosurfactant production by B. mojavensis JF-2. The data gathered from crude purification of the growth-enhancing factor in Proteose peptone suggested that it consisted of nucleic acids; however, nucleic acid bases, nucleotides or nucleosides did not replace the requirement for Proteose Peptone. Further studies revealed that salmon sperm DNA, herring sperm DNA, Echerichia coli DNA and synthetic DNA replaced the requirement for Proteose peptone. In addition to DNA, amino acids and nitrate were required for anaerobic growth and vitamins further improved growth. We now have a defined medium that can be used to manipulate growth and biosurfactant production. As an initial step in the search for a better biosurfactant-producing microorganism, 157 bacterial …
Date: June 26, 2003
Creator: McInerney, M. J.; Knapp, R. M.; Nagle, D. P., Jr.; Duncan, Kathleen; Youssef, N.; Folmsbee, M. J. et al.
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