Microbes to fight oil spillage in oceans: Indian scientists devise new technology
- Posted By
8th Dec, 2020
- The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) has developed an eco-friendly crude oil bioremediation mechanism technology using consortia of marine microbes wheat bran (WB) immobilized on agro-residue bacterial cells.
What is oil spillage?
- A surge in oil extraction through offshore drilling has resulted in the spillage of oil.
- Industrial effluent discharge, waste burn-out, and other manmade disasters pollute the marine environment.
- Oil spills have the potential to cause huge environmental damage: they end up accumulating in sub-surface sediments transferring the toxic organic materials to the marine food chain.
How the spillage can be treated?
- Bioremediation is one of the processes to remove the impacts of spillage.
- It can be defined as any process that uses microorganisms or their enzymes to remove and or neutralize contaminants within the environment (i.e., within soil and water) to their original condition.
- Petroleum is a mixture of natural gas, condensate, and crude oil (viscous liquid mixture) consisting mainly of thousands of hydrocarbon compounds.
- These hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria don’t depend on hydrocarbon for survival but have a metabolic mechanism where they use petroleum products as carbon and energy source and thus, help cleaning up oil spills.
- The complete breakdown and degradation of crude oil were achievable using wheat bran marine bacterial consortia immobilized on low-cost nontoxic agro-residues bacterial cells in an environmentally sustainable manner.