Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fuel-eating bacteria

11.02.2004


The sinking of the Prestige and the resulting leakage of petroleum oil, just over a year ago, provoked a real catastrophe. A significant number of research groups were prompted to set to work to clean up the remains of this oil slick. One year after, the first results of those researches are being known. They want to use bacteria that eat petroleum oil, extracted from the proper petroleum oil.

Certain bacteria are able to feed off petroleum oil which is, in fact, full of these kinds of bacteria. So, after the disaster in 2002, researchers from two biotech companies based in the administrative capital of the Basque Country, Gasteiz, (AB and Guserbiot) began the task. They collected samples from the beaches and began searching for these microscopic beings: the aim was to find a novel method of cleaning up the coast.

First, they took the samples to the laboratory in order to observe which kind of bacteria live in the petroleum oil in its natural state. It was seen that a great number of different microorganisms, hundreds, live together. They are bacteria of all kinds: those that eat the oil rapidly, those that degrade the petroleum very slowly ... in other words, a wide variety.



It would seem that these bacteria work as a team. Some digest the big hydrocarbon molecules of oil, generating much shorter chains of carbon; other bacteria consume these shorter chains. At the termination of this teamwork, the oil has completely disappeared – only remains of water and carbon dioxide are left.

To date, methods such as these have not been tried out on our coasts. They are non- contaminant and, in the laboratory, they clean up the fuel easily. It now remains to be seen if trials on the beaches are equally positive. Also, what has had to be modified is the method by which the bacteria are able to eliminate the oil, not only from the rocks, but also from the water and to eliminate the oil accumulated under the sand. The first trials start in March to test their efficacy.

Apart from Guserbiot and AB Laboratorios de Biotecnologia S. A., also participating in the research are, Gaiker, Leia, the Cubano Oceanographic Institute and the University of Oviedo.


Contact :
Jon Kepa Izaguirre Goyoaga
A&B Laboratorios de Biotecnología S.A.
kepa@ab-laboratorios.com
(+34) 945291616

Garazi Andonegi | Basque research
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Gelaxka=1_1&Berri_Kod=409&hizk=I
http://www.ab-laboratorios.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement
26.06.2017 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

nachricht New insight into a central biological dogma on ion transport
26.06.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>