27 August 2010

Oil eating microbe vs oil eating microbe

First I have seen this article:

A natural "bioremediation" technique developed by biologists at an Israeli university may hold the key to the final, difficult steps of the billion dollar oil spill cleanup in the wake of the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Professors Eugene Rosenberg and Eliora Ron from Tel Aviv University (TAU) use naturally occurring oil-munching bacteria, grown at the TAU lab, to clean hard-to-reach oil pockets that are produced when oil mixes with sand and organic matter on beaches and forms a thin layer on precious waterways.
And then this one:
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has revealed a previously unknown type of oil-eating bacteria, which is suddenly flourishing.

Scientists discovered the new microbe while studying the underwater dispersion of millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf following the explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

And the microbe works without significantly depleting oxygen in the water, researchers led by Terry Hazen at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reported Tuesday in the online journal Science Express.
OK, so I guess the folks around the Gulf of Mexico don't need our microbe then, the nature itself seems to be taking care of them. So we can give a hand to the Saudi Arabia people, they do have a lot of that oil pollution thing in their basements...


jams o donnell said...

I daresay that the natuarl microbes must feel like it's several christmases rolled into one!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yep, pure bonanza.

Dick Stanley said...

I remember some Texas scientists working on similar stuff years ago. It never caught on, maybe because some of the biggest oil spills have been in cold water and the microbes like it best when it's warm. Smart microbes.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Actually the second article states that these specific microbes are more active in the cold layers. But who knows?

I hope that the ones from the Israeli researches do their job in heated oil too ;)