The Biotransformation of Bitumen
AdvisorDe la Hoz Siegler, Hector
Committee MemberGates, Ian Donald
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AbstractThree microbial strains (Bacillus lentus, Ganoderma applanatum, Pseudomonas fluorescens) were evaluated for their capacity to biotransform bitumen in suspended and porous media. Bitumen is characterized by high viscosity and low mobility at reservoir conditions, and high toxicity. Microbes capable of biotransforming bitumen might potentially be used for bioremediation and enhanced oil recovery. The microbes grew very well in suspended cultures with bitumen presence. Additionally, results in packed bed cultures indicated that B. lentus in medium E (ATCC-1502) had the higher capability for bitumen bioconversion (42±4%), B. lentus in modified mushroom minimal medium (MMM, 24±7%). A supernatant obtained from B. lentus pretreated with bitumen in medium MMM resulted in (14±4%) conversion, which is the highest in the supernatant group. It was observed that bitumen dispersed and floated to the top of the flask. Bitumen treated with either B. lentus or P. fluorescens has an apparent viscosity lower than no-treated.
Schulich School of Engineering