Oil Spill‎ Solution – Oil Eater Bacteria Discovered

Posted by on Aug 26, 2010 | Leave a Comment

Oil Eater Bacteria discovered in Russia’s Lake Baikal by Baikal Russian scientists that are very interesting microorganisms and could finish the risk of ecological damage from oil spills. Since the deadly BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in April, these bacteria have largely eaten the huge deep-sea plume of dispersed oil fouling the Gulf of Mexico. With a mixture of indigenous microbes that eat up the entire oil, a kilometre-long stretch of beach near Mumbai has been made free of oil, result of the recent spill off Mumbai.

Their findings are depends on over 200 samples gathered from 17 deepwater sites between May 25 and June 2. Oil Eater Bacteria is a new species of dominant microbe in the oil plume, and they are closely related to members of Oceanospirillales. Hazen calls these bacteria as “bioremediation” due to their unique ability to consume oil swiftly, and once the bacteria are firmly identified and cultured, they should make a valuable tool against future oil spills that pose a threat to the environment.

This microbe flourishes in cold water, with temperatures in the deep recorded at 5 degrees Celsius (41 Fahrenheit). Large amounts of oxygen in the water would be eaten by oil-eating activity of microbes, which creates a “dead zone” that is dangerous to other life, had been concerned by scientists. However, the new study found that oxygen saturation outside the oil plume was 67-percent while within the plume it was 59-percent.

Within the plume, sixteen groups of bacteria were enriched; particularly the Oceanospirillales. Most bacteria would grind to a halt in very cold environments but there these all sixteen groups can digest the hydrocarbons in oil. The presence of more than 1,600 genes is detected by Hazen that involved in breaking down oil, many of which were much more active inside the plume.

According to researchers reported in the online journal Sciencexpress, the microbe works without significantly depleting oxygen in the water. According to Terry C. Hazen, the chief microbiologist at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, report on Tuesday, “the toxic plume that was once 22 miles long and more than 3,600 feet deep is now “undetectable, as a result of the bacteria.

Hazen said, “For millions of years, bacteria have been eating oil that seeps from the sea floor, but Hazen and his colleagues discovered a particularly gluttonous form that multiplied rapidly in the months after the April 20 oil-rig explosion and spearheaded the plume’s unexpected disappearance from the gulf’s cold waters.” He added, “We’re still finding bacteria but no oil,” and “The plume is undetectable.

These new findings on the plume’s rapid degradation will be extremely helpful for us to learn more about the natural processes that can degrade oil so rapidly in the sea,” Camilli said Tuesday in an interview. He pointed out that some of the plume’s microscopic oil particles are being diluted naturally in the seawater, while other organisms are playing a role in consuming varied chemical molecules in the plume’s hydrocarbons.

Video of The impact of the oil spill from youtube:

Video of Gulf Oil Spill-Gutsy Solution Restores Environment in Just Six Weeks from youtube:

Video of Gulf Oil Spill Solution from youtube:

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