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SRNL's microbes useful for for environmental cleanup and oil recovery
Date:10/16/2008

A unique, patent-pending collection of microbes that can be used both for cleaning up the environment and addressing our energy needs has earned the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory kudos from a newsletter covering the rapidly expanding field of nanotechnology.

Nanotech Briefs awarded SRNL's BioTiger™ a spot on its fourth annual Nano 50™ list, described as the top 50 technologies, innovators and products expected to revolutionize the industry. Nanotech Briefs will present the awards during the National Nano Engineering Conference, Nov. 12-13 in Boston. For more information, visit www.techbriefs.com/nano.

BioTiger™ resulted from over eight years of extensive work that began at a century-old Polish waste lagoon. "DOE had originally funded us to work with our Polish counterparts to develop a microbe-based method for cleaning up oil-contaminated soils," explains Dr. Robin Brigmon, SRNL Fellow Engineer. From that lagoon, they identified microbes that could break down the oil to carbon dioxide and other non-hazardous products. "The project was a great success," Dr. Brigmon says. "The lagoon now has been cleaned up, and deer now can be seen grazing on it."

Recent efforts have shown that BioTiger™ naturally produces chemicals that may have other industrial uses as well. For example, BioTiger™ can be applied directly for cleaning up oil residues on surfaces such as concrete slabs and building foundations.

In addition to its original environmental cleanup uses, BioTiger™ has recently been shown to be highly effective for increasing oil recovery from oil sands without added chemicals. Oil sands (also referred to as tar sands) are a combination of clay, sand, water, and bitumen, a heavy black viscous material. Currently, oil sands represent about 40 percent of Canada's oil production. Approximately 20 percent of U.S. crude oil and refined products come from Ca
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Contact: Angie French
angeline.french@srnl.doe.gov
803-725-2854
DOE/Savannah River National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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