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Fri, 8th Aug 2014

How to make energy from oil-eating microbes

Oil Rig (c)  Chad Teer

One of the remarkable things about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico four years ago was the fact that a lot of the contamination was cleaned up by bacteria which simply ate the oil.

Now there’s more understanding of how microbes exist in oil which could lead to new technologies for extracting energy from oil deposits deep underground.

A group of scientists have been studying an asphalt lake in Trinidad and Tobago where  it was previously thought microbes couldn’t live because of the lack of water, but now microbes have been found.

Professor Joel Kostka from the Georgia Institute of Technology has been explaining the research to Ginny Smith.

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