Oil reserves may be renewed with the help of bacteria
Scientists come close to the problem of the oil reserves exhaustibility solution. Researchers from the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas found that bacteria can generate hydrocarbons that are part of the natural resource. This means that in the future oil reserves may become renewable. Today, in order to conduct a legitimate search for “black gold”, one need to know where and how it was formed. Therefore, the question of the oil origin is not only a fundamental scientific problem.
Adherents of the oil origin inorganic theory hold the opinion that it originated from carbon and hydrogen in the earth interior at high pressure and temperature. While adherents of organic theory believe that the primary source of oil was prokaryotes, including bacteria. Probably, the oil formation processes from this biomass continue at the present time. Scientists from the the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas confirm the hypothesis.
In the University laboratory researchers have created the breeding ground for bacteria. Using a centrifuge the ground was separated, frozen and lyophilized. The soluble part of the biomass together with the thermolysis products of the insoluble part was studied by chromatography-mass spectrometry method, which is the most informative from the standpoint of studying hydrocarbons and other compounds at the molecular level.
Alexandra Poshibaeva, associate professor of the Department of Organic Chemistry and Petroleum Chemistry, explains: «We obtained oil hydrocarbons when we began to investigate the thermolysis products of the biomass insoluble part. Alkanes, isoprenanes, steranes, terpanes and other hydrocarbons-biomarkers were discovered. That is, compounds that reflect the initial biomass structure are direct evidence of the organic hypothesis of the oil origin. This indicates that from the bacteria insoluble part and the kerogen of sedimentary rocks the same hydrocarbons are formed».
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