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Earth Science

Around 200,000 Tons of Deep Water Horizon Oil and Gas Consumed By Bacteria 170

SchrodingerZ writes "The University of Rochester and Texas A&M University have determined that in the five months following the Deepwater Horizon Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, bacteria have consumed over 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas. The researched was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology (abstract). 'A significant amount of the oil and gas that was released was retained within the ocean water more than one-half mile below the sea surface. It appears that the hydrocarbon-eating bacteria did a good job of removing the majority of the material that was retained in these layers," said co-author John Kessler of the University of Rochester.' The paper debuts for the first time 'the rate at which the bacteria ate the oil and gas changed as this disaster progressed, information that is fundamental to understanding both this spill and predicting the behavior of future spills.' It was also noted that the oil and gas consumption rate was correlated with the addition of dispersants at the wellhead (video). Still, an estimated 40% of the oil and natural gas from the spill remains in the Gulf today."
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Around 200,000 Tons of Deep Water Horizon Oil and Gas Consumed By Bacteria

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @10:32AM (#41312257)
    just as much as you do, but this is ridiculous:

    Read that. Basically, you seem like you'd be happy if I served you a glass of my piss, but before I served it to you I removed 60% of the piss and replaced it with pure water.

    More like: 60% of the pee Michael Phelps put in the pool during the Olympics has been filtered out. Fancy a swim?

  • by mapkinase ( 958129 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @10:52AM (#41312481) Homepage Journal

    In principal, chemically, all of oil could be processed, with potential release/consumption of water and carbon dioxide.

    In terms of elements, chemically, oil actually is pretty clean, it's just basic organic elements of life, as every one of you knows. Oil pollution problem is a result it's physical properties: viscosity, density, etc. Which results from oil being bunch of rather long polymers.

    Theoretically, it does not make sense for bacteria that consumes oil to produce polymers longer than oil polymers, most likely, it couldn't exert nothing but carbon dioxide, water, methane - smaller molecular compounds.

    That's the bacterial waste directly from oil metabolism. Theoretically there could be toxins from other aspects of bacteria's life.


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