EBI Personnel Directory Fouke, Bruce
Fossil Fuel Bioprocessing
It may be possible to increase the amount of oil that can be extracted from subsurface oil field reservoirs using microbial metabolisms. This project has determined the distribution, frequency, and expression of genes in subsurface microbial communities in order to infer the unique metabolic processes inherent to this environment. Findings will be integrated with reservoir environmental conditions and geological history to establish a universal template for developing Microbially Enhanced Hydrocarbon Recovery (MEHR) strategies in oil and gas reservoirs, oil shales, tar sands, and coal beds under a range of subsurface temperature and pressure conditions.
Our pilot biosouring experimentation using the silicate GeoBioCell micromodel has been successfully completed using a soil enrichment culture, as well pure culture isolates of the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio vulgaris.