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Title: Development of Microorganisms with Improved Transport and Biosurfactant Activity for Enhanced Oil Recovery

Abstract

The project had three objectives: (1) to develop microbial strains with improved biosurfactant properties that use cost-effective nutrients, (2) to obtain biosurfactant strains with improved transport properties through sandstones, and (3) to determine the empirical relationship between surfactant concentration and interfacial tension and whether in situ reactions kinetics and biosurfactant concentration meets appropriate engineering design criteria. Here, we show that a lipopeptide biosurfactant produced by Bacillus mojavensis strain JF-2 mobilized substantial amounts of residual hydrocarbon from sand-packed columns and Berea sandstone cores when a viscosifying agent and a low molecular weight alcohol were present. The amount of residual hydrocarbon mobilized depended on the biosurfactant concentration. Tertiary oil recovery experiments showed that 10 to 40 mg/l of JF-2 biosurfactant in the presence of 0.1 mM 2,3-butanediol and 1 g/l of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (PHPA) recovered 10-40% of residual oil from Berea sandstone cores. Even low biosurfactant concentrations (16 mg/l) mobilized substantial amounts of residual hydrocarbon (29%). The bio-surfactant lowered IFT by nearly 2 orders of magnitude compared to typical IFT values of 28-29 mN/m. Increasing the salinity increased the IFT with or without 2,3-butanediol present. The lowest interfacial tension observed was 0.1 mN/m. A mathematical model that relates oil recovery tomore » biosurfactant concentration was modified to include the stepwise changes in IFT as biosurfactant concentrations changes. This model adequately predicted the experimentally observed changes in IFT as a function of biosurfactant concentration. Theses data show that lipopeptide biosurfactant systems may be effective in removing hydrocarbon contamination sources in soils and aquifers and for the recovery of entrapped oil from low production oil reservoirs. Diverse microorganisms were screened for biosurfactant production and anaerobic growth at elevated salt concentrations to obtain candidates most suitable for microbial oil recovery. Seventy percent of the 205 strains tested, mostly strains of Bacillus mojavensis, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, and Bacillus sonorensis, produced biosurfactants aerobically and 41% of the strains had biosurfactant activity greater than Bacillus mojavensis JF-2, the current candidate for oil recovery. Biosurfactant activity varied with the percentage of the 3-hydroxy-tetradecanoate isomers in the fatty acid portion of the biosurfactant. Changing the medium composition by incorporation of different precursors of 3-hydroxy tetradecanoate increased the activity of biosurfactant. The surface tension and critical micelle concentration of 15 different, biosurfactant-producing Bacillus strains was determined individually and in combination with other biosurfactants. Some biosurfactant mixtures were found to have synergistic effect on surface tension (e.g. surface tension was lowered from 41 to 31 mN/m in some cases) while others had a synergistic effect on CMD-1 values. We compared the transport abilities of spores from three Bacillus strains using a model porous system to study spore recovery and transport. Sand-packed columns were used to select for spores or cells with the best transport abilities through brine-saturated sand. Spores of Bacillus mojavensis strains JF-2 and ROB-2 and a natural recombinant, strain C-9, transported through sand at very high efficiencies. The earliest cells/spores that emerged from the column were regrown, allowed to sporulate, and applied to a second column. This procedure greatly enhanced the transport of strain C-9. Spores with enhanced transport abilities can be easily obtained and that the preparation of inocula for use in MEOR is feasible. We conducted a push-pull test to study in-situ biosurfactant production by exogenous biosurfactant producers to aid in oil recovery from depleted reservoirs. Five wells from the same formation were used. Two wells received cells and nutrients, two wells were treated with nutrients only, and one well was used as the negative control where only brine was injected. We hypothesized that the wells receiving nutrients and cells treatment would be able to produce biosurfactant in-situ compared to nutrient only treated wells or the negative control. After incubation and a shut-in period to allow in situ growth and metabolism, a series of chemical, microbiological, and molecular analyses were conducted on the produced fluids to obtain evidence for growth, metabolism, and biosurfactant production. Results showed that the wells treated with cells and nutrients indeed produced biosurfactant compared to the other wells as evidenced by the increase in surface activity. Lipopeptide biosurfactants of concentration up to 350 ppm were detected.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
860919
DOE Contract Number:  
FC26-02NT15321
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; AQUIFERS; BACILLUS LICHENIFORMIS; BACILLUS SUBTILIS; BRINES; CARBOXYLIC ACIDS; CONTAMINATION; HYDROCARBONS; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; METABOLISM; MICROORGANISMS; MOLECULAR WEIGHT; PETROLEUM RESIDUES; SPORES; STRAINS; SURFACE TENSION; SURFACTANTS; TRANSPORT

Citation Formats

McInerney, M J, Duncan, K E, Youssef, N, Fincher, T, Maudgalya, S K, Folmsbee, M J, Knapp, R, Simpson, Randy R, Ravi, N, and Nagle, D. Development of Microorganisms with Improved Transport and Biosurfactant Activity for Enhanced Oil Recovery. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/860919.
McInerney, M J, Duncan, K E, Youssef, N, Fincher, T, Maudgalya, S K, Folmsbee, M J, Knapp, R, Simpson, Randy R, Ravi, N, & Nagle, D. Development of Microorganisms with Improved Transport and Biosurfactant Activity for Enhanced Oil Recovery. United States. doi:10.2172/860919.
McInerney, M J, Duncan, K E, Youssef, N, Fincher, T, Maudgalya, S K, Folmsbee, M J, Knapp, R, Simpson, Randy R, Ravi, N, and Nagle, D. Mon . "Development of Microorganisms with Improved Transport and Biosurfactant Activity for Enhanced Oil Recovery". United States. doi:10.2172/860919. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/860919.
@article{osti_860919,
title = {Development of Microorganisms with Improved Transport and Biosurfactant Activity for Enhanced Oil Recovery},
author = {McInerney, M J and Duncan, K E and Youssef, N and Fincher, T and Maudgalya, S K and Folmsbee, M J and Knapp, R and Simpson, Randy R and Ravi, N and Nagle, D},
abstractNote = {The project had three objectives: (1) to develop microbial strains with improved biosurfactant properties that use cost-effective nutrients, (2) to obtain biosurfactant strains with improved transport properties through sandstones, and (3) to determine the empirical relationship between surfactant concentration and interfacial tension and whether in situ reactions kinetics and biosurfactant concentration meets appropriate engineering design criteria. Here, we show that a lipopeptide biosurfactant produced by Bacillus mojavensis strain JF-2 mobilized substantial amounts of residual hydrocarbon from sand-packed columns and Berea sandstone cores when a viscosifying agent and a low molecular weight alcohol were present. The amount of residual hydrocarbon mobilized depended on the biosurfactant concentration. Tertiary oil recovery experiments showed that 10 to 40 mg/l of JF-2 biosurfactant in the presence of 0.1 mM 2,3-butanediol and 1 g/l of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (PHPA) recovered 10-40% of residual oil from Berea sandstone cores. Even low biosurfactant concentrations (16 mg/l) mobilized substantial amounts of residual hydrocarbon (29%). The bio-surfactant lowered IFT by nearly 2 orders of magnitude compared to typical IFT values of 28-29 mN/m. Increasing the salinity increased the IFT with or without 2,3-butanediol present. The lowest interfacial tension observed was 0.1 mN/m. A mathematical model that relates oil recovery to biosurfactant concentration was modified to include the stepwise changes in IFT as biosurfactant concentrations changes. This model adequately predicted the experimentally observed changes in IFT as a function of biosurfactant concentration. Theses data show that lipopeptide biosurfactant systems may be effective in removing hydrocarbon contamination sources in soils and aquifers and for the recovery of entrapped oil from low production oil reservoirs. Diverse microorganisms were screened for biosurfactant production and anaerobic growth at elevated salt concentrations to obtain candidates most suitable for microbial oil recovery. Seventy percent of the 205 strains tested, mostly strains of Bacillus mojavensis, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, and Bacillus sonorensis, produced biosurfactants aerobically and 41% of the strains had biosurfactant activity greater than Bacillus mojavensis JF-2, the current candidate for oil recovery. Biosurfactant activity varied with the percentage of the 3-hydroxy-tetradecanoate isomers in the fatty acid portion of the biosurfactant. Changing the medium composition by incorporation of different precursors of 3-hydroxy tetradecanoate increased the activity of biosurfactant. The surface tension and critical micelle concentration of 15 different, biosurfactant-producing Bacillus strains was determined individually and in combination with other biosurfactants. Some biosurfactant mixtures were found to have synergistic effect on surface tension (e.g. surface tension was lowered from 41 to 31 mN/m in some cases) while others had a synergistic effect on CMD-1 values. We compared the transport abilities of spores from three Bacillus strains using a model porous system to study spore recovery and transport. Sand-packed columns were used to select for spores or cells with the best transport abilities through brine-saturated sand. Spores of Bacillus mojavensis strains JF-2 and ROB-2 and a natural recombinant, strain C-9, transported through sand at very high efficiencies. The earliest cells/spores that emerged from the column were regrown, allowed to sporulate, and applied to a second column. This procedure greatly enhanced the transport of strain C-9. Spores with enhanced transport abilities can be easily obtained and that the preparation of inocula for use in MEOR is feasible. We conducted a push-pull test to study in-situ biosurfactant production by exogenous biosurfactant producers to aid in oil recovery from depleted reservoirs. Five wells from the same formation were used. Two wells received cells and nutrients, two wells were treated with nutrients only, and one well was used as the negative control where only brine was injected. We hypothesized that the wells receiving nutrients and cells treatment would be able to produce biosurfactant in-situ compared to nutrient only treated wells or the negative control. After incubation and a shut-in period to allow in situ growth and metabolism, a series of chemical, microbiological, and molecular analyses were conducted on the produced fluids to obtain evidence for growth, metabolism, and biosurfactant production. Results showed that the wells treated with cells and nutrients indeed produced biosurfactant compared to the other wells as evidenced by the increase in surface activity. Lipopeptide biosurfactants of concentration up to 350 ppm were detected.},
doi = {10.2172/860919},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2005},
month = {8}
}