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 Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>