Fossil Fuel Bioprocessing programs

MEHR: Gulf of Mexico - Completed

MEHR involves the introduction of microorganisms, nutrients, and oxygen into the reservoir to produce metabolic events that lead, by a variety of mechanisms, to enhanced oil recovery. The EBI program develops an understanding of native reservoir bacteria and their potential to enhance oil recovery and set the framework for engineering microbial strains to promote traits that facilitate recovery, predicting microbial growth and reactivity within petroleum reservoirs with enough accuracy to guide MEHR treatments, and developing in situ procedures to implement MEHR effectively.

This program studied the microbial effects of oil clean-up from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.


Published in 2012

Deep-Sea Bacteria Enriched by Oil and Dispersant from the Deepwater Horizon Spill, Jacob Baelum, Sharon Borglin, Romy Chakraborty, Julian Fortney, Regina Lamendella, Olivia Mason, Manfred Auer, Marcin Zemla, Markus Bill, Mark Conrad, Stephanie Malfatti, Susannah Tringe, Hoi-Ying Holman, Terry Hazen, Janet Jansson, Environmental Microbiology, doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2012.02780, May 23, 2012.

Published in 2011

Hydrocarbon-Degrading Bacteria and the Bacterial Community Response in Gulf of Mexico Beach Sands Impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Joel Kostka, Will Overholt, Stefan Green, Gina Freyer, Andy Canion, Jonathan Delgardio, Nikita Norton, Terry Hazen, Markus Huettel, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77(22), pp. 7962–7974. November, 2011.


Microbial Gene Functions Enriched in the Deepwater Horizon Deep-Sea Oil Plume , Zhenmei Lu, Ye Deng, Joy Van Nostrand, Zhili He, James Voordeckers, Aifen Zhou, Yong-Jin Lee, Olivia Mason, Eric Dubinsky, Krystle Chavarria, Lauren Tom, Julian Fortney, Regina Lamendella, Janet Jansson, Patrik D’haeseleer, Terry Hazen, Jizhong Zhou, ISME Journal, doi: 10.1038/ismej.2011.91, August 4, 2011.


Oil Degradation and Bioremediation: A Tale of the Two Worst Spills in U.S. History, Ronald Atlas, Terry Hazen, Environmental Science & Technology, 45(16), pp. 6709-6715, doi: 10.1021/es2013227, June 23, 2011.

Published in 2010

Deep-Sea Oil Plume Enriches Indigenous Oil-Degrading Bacteria, Terry Hazen, Eric Dubinsky, et. al, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science1195979, August 25, 2010.



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