Selective plugging strategy-based microbial-enhanced oil recovery using Bacillus licheniformis TT33

Harish Suthar, Krushi Hingurao, Anjana Desai, Anuradha Nerurkar
Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 2009, 19 (10): 1230-7
The selective plugging strategy of microbial enhanced oil recovery involves the use of microbes that grow and produce exopolymeric substances, which block the high permeability zones of an oil reservoir, thus allowing the water to flow through the low permeability zones leading to increase in oil recovery. Bacillus licheniformis TT33, a hot water spring isolate, is facultatively anaerobic, halotolerant, and thermotolerant. It produces EPS as well as biosurfactant and has a biofilm-forming ability. The viscosity of its cell-free supernatant is 120 mPas at 28 degrees C. Its purified EPS contained 26% carbohydrate and 3% protein. Its biosurfactant reduced the surface tension of water from 72 to 34 mN/m. This strain gave 27.7+/-3.5% oil recovery in a sand pack column. Environmental scanning electron microscopy analysis showed bacterial growth and biofilm formation in the sand pack. Biochemical tests and amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis confirmed that the oil recovery obtained in the sand pack column was due to Bacillus licheniformis TT33.

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